Sleep is Central to Mental Health in Aging Women

A bearded young man is night sleeping in a cozy bed. Happy to sleep. Healthy night sleep of a man in a fresh white bed.Ladies, it is increasingly important to focus on good sleep as you get older. New research shows it could greatly impact mood and mental health.

A recent study found that older women who don’t stick to a sleep-and-wake schedule may be more likely to struggle with feelings of depression and anxiety, even if they are getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night.


Further, they found that those who go to bed and wake up early – early birds – and those that go to bed and get up late – night owls – were 70 percent more likely to experience depressive symptoms, even with a normal amount of sleep.

It should be noted that the study was not designed to see whether sleep was the chicken, the egg, or both when it comes to mood. It Is possible, for example, that depression was causing irregular sleep/wake patterns or they had the schedule because they were depressed.

Aging women may be prone to sleep schedule irregularities because of retirement or aging parts of the brain that control the timing of sleep.
Researchers analyzed sleep patterns and assessed the psychological health of 1,200 postmenopausal women over the age of 65, on average, for the study.

They found that women with a sleep midpoint – the halfway point between falling asleep and waking up – outside 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. were 72 percent more likely to report significant depressive symptoms.

The authors noted that each hour of sleep irregularity increased the chances of experiencing significant anxiety symptoms by 62 percent.

To help improve sleep patterns, set an alarm clock for the same time every morning, seven days per week, even after retirement. Seek bright light – natural light, if possible – as soon as possible after the alarm sounds.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.