Sleep is important. When we are younger, we don’t pay much attention to sleep and its effects on our health. Then, as we get older, we find – at least in my case – that we need more and more sleep, we want to go to bed earlier and earlier at night, because if we’ve been up late the night before, we can not only feel tired the next day, but it can be scary to look in the mirror. Under-eye circles and oedemas are also a sign of how much sleep we’ve had and how well rested we are.
As I get older, I also notice that not only is the list of foods I eat at mealtimes getting shorter, but that I don’t feel good at dinner, and that going to bed with a full stomach is not tolerated. I am unable to sleep well, and even find it difficult to fall asleep.
It is not for nothing that experts, renowned internists and immunologists say that many things change with age, and that it is we ourselves who are most aware of what our body and soul need. If we feel that fatty foods are no longer good for us, we shouldn’t push it. If we find that it’s not good to go to bed when we’re full, we should opt for a light dinner.
Why not listen to your body’s signals? Why not try a lifestyle change at 50? After all, the way our bodies work will be different from before. We don’t digest like we did when we were 20, we do different things than we did when we were 30, and our bodies may need things we never thought of before. So let’s give our bodies and our souls what they need, because only we know what is good for us and what we need to change.
Establishing an evening routine is essential. Being organised helps our bodies prepare for sleep. If someone chooses light exercise in the evening, such as walking, then do some walking in the evening.
As I get older, I prefer to eat light and indulge in a cup of hot tea instead. I mainly swear by decaffeinated teas, my favourite being hibiscus tea, which is also beneficial in the winter months as it has a great immune-boosting effect. I top this up with a little ascorbic acid and sea buckthorn. The latter is one of my favourites, I’ve been using it in the winter months for several years and haven’t really had a cold or flu in recent years.
As the years go by, I watch less and less TV in the evenings – and no time during the day, which I probably don’t mind – I prefer to talk to my husband, but reading relaxes me before bed.
What else can help you fall asleep? Meditation, meditation music, silence, and dusk and dawn all help you sleep well. Never forget to go to the bathroom before falling asleep. Evening pampering rituals such as hot showers and beauty rituals also actively contribute to physical and mental health. I swear by these, but I’m sure I’ll have a few other evening routines as my body or mind signals me to change. Right now, I need to make these changes to maintain my physical and mental well-being.