Tips for Sleeping Better After Forty

According to experts, starting at the age of thirty, the body needs at least seven or eight hours of rest. For reasons that remain uncertain, many people suffer from sleep problems, especially when they are over forty years of age.
Tips for Sleeping Better After Forty

Last update: 20 September, 2018

Constantly waking up in the middle of the night or finding it difficult to enjoy a deep sleep, are habits that can slowly harm your health. In adulthood, daily worries and stress can cause you to experience insomnia. Whether or not you experience sleep problems, these tips for sleeping better after forty, are very useful indeed.

How to know if you suffer from insomnia after forty

Over time, your body needs less and less sleeping hours. Before one year of age, a baby might sleep up to 16 hours per day. When you reach five years old, your body and energy levels will remain consistent with ten hours of good rest. In adulthood, being in bed, without being able to sleep well, can seem like a huge waste of time.

People with insomnia often tolerate spending hours in bed, with the hope of going back to sleep. Yet, day after day, they wake up at dawn, with seemingly endless and concerning thoughts.

sleep better after 40

It is thought that women suffer more with insomnia. Hormonal changes from the age of forty and onward, can affect the body’s resting mechanisms. Many times, people suffering with this syndrome are women with triple working hours: wage labor, house labor, and looking after children. Another factor may be related to the menopause.

Reasons and consequences of insomnia in adults

According to Matthew Walker, who is responsible for the Human Sleep Science Center, at the University of California, Berkeley, the decline in quality sleep begins at the age of thirty. By the age of fifty, the occurrence of quality and regular sleep, may be half of what it was during their adolescence.

Psychiatrist Michael Vitiello, who studies the Science of Behavior, at the University of Washington, noted that women find it more difficult to go back to sleep after waking prematurely. In any case, the problem affects both sexes.

There are up to 100 different types of sleep disorders. Some people simply accept that they have trouble sleeping well at night. However, it is estimated that around half of the population has suffered from insomnia at some point. 

Antonio Culebras decided to raise awareness about the importance of sleep and getting a good night’s rest, and he organized a “World Sleep Day” in Spain.

Culebras says, “It should only take around 15 minutes to fall asleep. Afterwards, the amount of sleep that an adult gets, should be between seven and nine hours. Additionally, a room temperature of no more than 19 degrees Celcius (around 66 degrees Fahrenheit) is recommended.”

Tips for sleeping better after forty

The first step in many therapeutic programs is also ranked the number one tip in how to improve sleep. Many times, insomnia can be associated with anxiety. As in therapy, the first thing insomniacs need to do, is to directly address any troubling thoughts that appear in your head at night.

older couple sleeping

Yoga and breathing techniques are key to sleeping better after forty. Additionally, this mindfulness exercise, which includes concentration and meditation sessions, also improves sleep. These practices notably help to quiet the mind and free it from negative thoughts.

Controlling pre-menopausal “hot flashes” is another way for women to improve their quality of rest. This according to Shalini Manchanda, who is in charge of the Sleep Medicine program at the Indiana University Health Institute. Hot flashes can apparently produce, in many cases, “choppy dreams”.

Another sleep disorder that many people suffer with and without realizing it, is sleep apnoea. Typically, men suffer the most from this disorder. With sleep apnoea, you stop breathing for a few seconds during your sleep. In the morning, you feel a sensation of not having slept well at all.

The final tip for sleeping better after forty, is to exercise and practice sports regularly. Preferably performed in the morning, moderate athletic activity always prepares the body for a well-deserved rest.

Some healthy habits, such as not going to bed hungry, avoiding arguments, and turning off your cell phone and social networks, are other smart ways to ensure a deep, restful sleep.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Helfrich, R. F., Mander, B. A., Jagust, W. J., Knight, R. T., & Walker, M. P. (2018). Old Brains Come Uncoupled in Sleep: Slow Wave-Spindle Synchrony, Brain Atrophy, and Forgetting. Neuron.
  • Vitiello, M. V., Larsen, L. H., & Moe, K. E. (2004). Age-related sleep change: Gender and estrogen effects on the subjective-objective sleep quality relationships of healthy, noncomplaining older men and women. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
  • Culebras, A. (2005). Sleep and neuromuscular disorders. Neurologic Clinics.
  • Bodkin, C. L., & Manchanda, S. (2011). Office evaluation of the “tired” or “sleepy” patient. Seminars in Neurology.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.