Many things can disrupt your sleep. As we age, our brains start the reduction of a very important hormone called, Melatonin. This hormone helps us in the process of getting to sleep. Stress will diminsh this hormone and so will aging in general. Tryptophan is another intermediary that is important in the sleep process and is stimulated by melatonin. The less melatonin the less tryptophan for sleep to occur. So, what might one do if they can’t get to sleep?
Original watercolor / pastel by Dr. Eric Shapira
My grandmother used to keep a bottle of wine under her bed. When she couldn’t sleep, she drank. This is certainly not advisable due to the fact that older people are “fall risks” and we don’t want to see this happen with resulting injury. So taking up to 4 mg of melatonin, which you can buy in a health food store, will help with getting to sleep. Take it one hour before bedtime. You might check with your doctor to make sure it will not counteract any other medications you might be taking as well. You can try counting sheep or goats…works for some.
Sleep apnea is another sleep problem and this requires sleep studies to determine the extent of the problem and subsequent treatment. Sometimes a simple dental appliance worn nightly will help with this problem and snoring as well, which can keep anyone awake. Just ask me…my wife sounds like a heard of cattle when she snores. I am always afraid of getting caught in the stampede.Now you know why I can’t sleep…
Are you having sleep problems? Call me and set up an appointment. I’m happy to evaluate your situation and help you any way that I can!
Here’s to sweet dreams….
Dr Eric Shapira
Your Aging Mentor, Optmizing your daily health and making aging transitions easier.