5 Sleep Hacks for the Over 40 Crowd

A good night’s sleep is worth almost any amount of money, especially if it’s been weeks, months, or even years since you’ve slept well. Over-the-counter supplements that promise a good night’s sleep are nearly everywhere, which is clear evidence that this issue affects a significant number of us. 

Research has shown that consistent quality sleep allows our body to heal and recover from the day’s events, protecting against a large number of serious health issues that can occur further down the road. But if you’re in the over 40 crowd, have a stressful lifestyle and a less-than-optimal diet, chances are good that at some point, a lack of sleep will leave you walking around like a zombie, longing for a place to catch a quick nap.

And if you are a female who’s over 45, there’s another factor to consider relating to disrupted sleep and that is the impending onset of menopause. During this period of time, a women’s hormones naturally shift and can often result in night sweats, unfounded worry, and relentless brain chatter during the middle of the night. This trifecta can undermine the stamina and resolve of an otherwise active and mentally acute woman.

A good night’s sleep is everything!

So what can be done about this sleep-deprivation situation? Thankfully, several simple strategies can help you get a good night’s rest and recalibrate your internal circadian rhythm back to normal.

1. Clean up your diet.

What we eat affects our sleep patterns. Diets high in sugar, carbs, and alcohol (especially in the evening) can result in frequent tossing and turning, keeping you from settling into a deep sleep. Blood sugar fluctuations send a signal to the brain that something’s not quite right, which then triggers a domino-like cascade of hormones and other chemical messengers that work hard to get your brain the glucose it needs. It’s during this process that your sleep gets interrupted.

Avoid consuming alcohol within two hours of bedtime (I know, not what you wanted to hear) and make sure you’ve had something for dinner besides just chips and salsa. A protein, healthy fat and fruit or veggie makes for a beautifully balanced meal that can help you drift off to sleep in no time.

2. Try some natural sleep aids

This doesn’t include melatonin or NyQuil. Instead, consider herbs such as valerian, California poppy, kava, and skullcap. These can quiet an overactive mind, relax tense muscles, ease worry from the day and calm an overexcited nervous system. Not all herbal products are alike, so quality is essential in this regard. We recommend (and use) pharmaceutical-grade herbs that are sourced from Australia. Additionally, calming minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and alfalfa can be very effective for helping you drift off to sleep and reduce the number of times you wake up.

3. Boost your sleep hormone

There’s a tiny little gland nestled deep within your brain called the pineal gland. During the day, when it’s bright outside, the pineal gland becomes quiet and waits for the onset of dusk, signaling the end of the day when sleep is eminent. This powerful gland is responsible for releasing its magical hormone, melatonin. But if you are watching TV, reading mindlessly on FB, or reading on your iPad, your pineal gland never gets the signal that it’s dark outside.

To keep your pineal happy and producing plenty of melatonin, turn off all electronics and create a version of ‘dusk’ inside your home about an hour before your normal bedtime. This sends the correct signal for your pineal gland to begin releasing sleepy hormones, inducing that enticing urge to crawl into bed and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

4. Enjoy life

Research has shown that people who are generally happy have higher amounts of another hormone known as oxytocin. Famous for being the “bonding” hormone, it is released when we engage in activities that foster relationships. Things like spending time with friends, belly laughing, playing with our pets, and spending time with our children cultivate a better night’s sleep. So put a smile on your face, hug someone and get that oxytocin flowing!

5. Create a cozy sleep space

Your bedroom should be your own sacred space, free from clutter, exercise equipment, laundry, or even a TV (yep, not conducive for a good night’s sleep). Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, preferably a bit on the cooler side. Use blackout shades to block any drifting light from streetlamps or other ambient light. Disconnect, or better yet, leave all your electronics in another room and be sure to put everything in airplane mode, so nothing disrupts your precious sleep.

Once you find your secret sauce for satisfying sleep, you’ll be snoring away in no time. A good night’s sleep helps your body heal, keeps your hormones on point, and allows your brain plenty of time to defrag and reset. Investing in finding the right combination to help you sleep will pay off huge dividends down the road.

Happy Patients

I have had back issues most of my life. Since starting treatments with Dr Greg I have had no more issues. It's such a relief to be able to be physical at the high level I want to be. I am able to maintain wellness by seeing Dr Greg on a regular basis. Thank you Dr Greg!!

Michael L.

Hello! I just want to say that you are truly a healer! After leaving your office last Monday, I was more able to breathe, truly breathe - after having suffered all weekend to take a deep breath due to a "rib out of place" OK - if you say so....all I know is that, though I continued to have a bit of pain in my upper back and neck for a day or two, I could take wonderful, glorious deep breaths thanks to your treatment. Thanks again for all you do! Even if I do make many sound affects while you are treating me - "OUCH!!! Hmmmph!! Ughhh!! Really???" I truly appreciate your healing touch....


I have had Parkinson's Disease for 8 years.  I have developed arthritis in my back and hips. The stiffness of the Parkinson's and the arthritis has caused me a lot of pain. Because of that unrelenting pain I was unable to exercise. Exercise is an important part of pain management for Parkinson's.  Since I have been seeing Dr. Krapf I am feeling much better and his care has allowed me to begin exercising again, which has improved my overall well being. In the past I have been treated by physical therapists and orthopedists. Dr. Krapf's chiropractic manipulations have had an amazing impact on my health and happiness. I highly recommend Dr. Krapf to anyone who needs excellent chiropractic care and the many alternative therapies he offers. I would say he is magical!

When my friend received excellent care from Dr. Krapf, she recommended him to me. I have had gastrointestinal problems for nearly 50 years that have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease with lactose intolerance. All that, including unrelieved stress had made me unhappy and unhealthy. Today I am a different person with the help of Dr. Greg. The Gastro issues are practically nonexistent, my stress levels have plummeted, and my body is changing. I am so grateful for Dr. Greg and his healing hands.

Mary Ann L.

Our family have been patients of Krapf chiropractic for a few decades. We have several success stories archived. The most recent event involves our youngest son who is completing his senior year of high school. He has been a patient of Krapf Chiropractic (KCA) since birth. He has been an avid soccer player since the age of four and has sustained numerous injuries over the years. Dr. Krapf has successfully assisted in every recovery.

Most recently, he began complaining of his feet hurting while playing soccer. Both feet hurt - particularly the balls of his feet while running and cutting. He came to Dr. Greg with his complaint as this was seriously affecting his game. Dr. Greg evaluated the situation and decided a foot scan should be done. The finding was dropped arches. My son was fitted for orthotics. They arrived within days and he wore these as directed. Within a few short weeks he is now playing full games pain free.


I first called Krapf Chiropractic when my back was so bad that I couldn't get up off the floor. It's been a blessing to have Dr. Greg help me with my overall wellness and health! I find this to be a place where you are not a number and everyone cares. Mollie is always cheerful and reminds me to come. Erin is always smiling and helps relax me when I'm in pain. I would not be functioning if I did not have Krapf Chiropractic to keep me going. As I get older my appreciation deepens, especially when I see people around me who are suffering with back problems. If they only knew how helpful this is. I believe Dr. Greg treats the person not the symptoms. Thank you

Debbie B.

I've been lucky to have exceptional health care from the beginning. At the beginning, seventy-six-plus years ago, Hugh Rodgers brought me into the world in mother and dad's second-floor bedroom in our dairy farm home. Hugh's son, Hugh, Jr., practiced with his dad and beyond caring for my parents, he, also, cared for hundreds of others and me. Roughly forty years ago, a friend suggested I make an appointment with Richard Krapf for help with back-pain. Richard treated the pain that, often, was debilitating, and on Richard's death, his son, Greg became the second second generation to help me from one place to another. I'm grateful to Hugh, Hugh, Richard and, perhaps, most of all, to Greg.


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