7 habits that can help you age well – From Precision Nutrition – Habit 4
Over the next several weeks I will be sharing with you “7 habits that can help you age well” as outlined by Dr. John Berardi and Jennifer Broxterman:
Habit 4. Get the right amount of sleep.
As we age, it’s normal to need less sleep, and to sleep less consistently. As a result, older people may have trouble falling or staying asleep, and/or may wake early.
However, at any age, adequate sleep is essential, and helps:
- brain regeneration, improving memory and focus;
- hormone and neurotransmitter regulation, keeping mood and appetite stable;
- inflammation regulation, keeping the immune system healthy and balanced; and
- recovery from stress, be it from emotional or physical sources.
In the older years, getting anywhere from 5 to 9 hours of sleep a day may be appropriate.
Sleeping enough helps keep us healthy, but sleeping too much can be a sign of illness.
If sleeping over 9 or 10 hours is becoming the norm, consult a physician. Excessive sleep can be a sign of nutrient deficiency (low iron and B12 can both cause fatigue), depression, infection, or serious illness.
Common challenges seniors face with getting the right amount of sleep
Changing sleep patterns throw people off: Although it’s normal to need less sleep in our older years, it may be difficult to adjust to a new sleep schedule.
Side effects from medication interrupt natural rhythms: Some medications may cause fatigue or wakefulness.
Worries about health, finances, or loved ones can also keep us up: If tossing and turning is chronic, get a full assessment of what’s preventing rest, including what’s weighing on the heart and mind.
Action steps that can help
- Practice good sleep hygiene. Setting up a good night’s sleep doesn’t just happen at night. Turn down the lights and disengage from stimulating activities about an hour before bed. Make your bedroom as dark as possible, and keep it cool (around 67 F / 19 C).
- Keep a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Avoid napping for more than an hour a day, or napping later in the day.
- Create a comforting sleep routine. For example, have a bath, read some calming literature, or go for a slow walk outside.
- Avoid spending time in bed while awake. If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, leave the bed and do some restful activities, like reading or making a cup of tea; return to bed when you feel sleepy again.
Workout for Monday September 17, 2018
5 Rounds of each exercise:
A) Deadlift 8 reps
B) Banded Knee Extensions 8 reps each leg
C) Dead Bug 16 reps total
Working continuously, rest only as needed, complete 5 rounds of:
8 KB Swings
8 Step up, line hops or box/plate jumps (scale to where you are at)