sleep aging

Good Sleep Promotes Healthy Aging

Sleep is a critical part of healthy aging and daily success. Research shows that women in midlife and beyond experiencing restless nights and night sweats are at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Women who get enough sleep feel better, experience healthy aging, and find it easier to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. This week on Fox 17, Dr. Bitner discusses how good sleep curbs cravings and promotes healthy aging.  

Fact #1: 

End your day with high-fiber carbs and high protein. For example, try eating 30 grams of protein at your last meal, then roasted veggies, a carb such as farro, and a dessert of fresh blackberries. Keeping your blood sugars even can help reduce waking up in the middle of the night and night sweats. Good sleep also reduces insulin resistance and reduces sugar cravings. 

Fact #2:

If you are in perimenopause or menopause, estrogen drops can cause hot flashes and night sweats. Night sweats can make waking up around 2 a.m. common each night. Make sure you explore treatment options with your healthcare provider (HCP), and in the meantime, when you wake up, break the cycle by getting out of bed. Go to the bathroom, drink water, or practice a metered breathing exercise. This will help you get back to sleep more easily when you return to bed.

Patient Story: 

Jane was 55 and waking every night at 3 a.m. She would instantly think, “Oh no, not tonight; I need my sleep; I have so much to do tomorrow!” Then she would lie there, trying not to get up and go to the bathroom, and an hour later, she would still be awake. 

After consulting with her HCP, Jane learned about strategies she could use during the day and at night to break the insomnia cycle. During the day, she began to start and end her day with protein instead of simple carbs and sugars. This helped to keep her blood sugar even and decrease sugar cravings at night. She also started establishing a regular sleep routine to get her body used to feeling sleepy at the same time each night. If Jane woke up at night, she began to tell herself, “All good, I got this,” and then would proceed to get out of bed to practice a metered breathing exercise. 

Jane also explored options for treatment of her night sweats. Because of her history of blood clots, she was not a candidate for estrogen therapy. Instead, Jane started taking Veozah, a non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes and night sweats. By improving her daily and nightly habits, plus working on treatment options with her doctor, Jane has consistently slept through the night!

Health Tip of the Week: 

Know that your efforts to get good sleep are worth it! So many health benefits coincide with getting a full night’s sleep. Aim to get seven hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep at night helps individuals make better food choices, and better food choices promote good sleep. It’s a win-win! 

Watch the full segment.