NAN's Women in Leadership Committee has new resources for your brain health - sleep and aging. Share in your practice and community.

Why good sleep matters?

  • Poor sleep can cause your thinking to be less clear
  • Mood problems, including irritability, can occur if you are not sleeping well
  • Poor sleep can increase risk for many chronic health conditions, including heart disease

How does sleep change as we age? 

  • The sleep-wake cycle naturally changes, becoming less consistent
  • Menopause can increase risk for changes in sleep due to hormonal changes
  • Hot flashes and night sweats can be particularly bad during menopause
  • Up to 50% of women experience sleep disruption during menopause
  • Mood problems (e.g., depression) can lead to trouble with sleep as well
  • Sleep disordered breathing becomes more common as we age

Tips for improving sleep:


  • Follow a regular schedule and set up a “bedtime routine” to help you feel sleepy
  • Keep your bedroom cool (~65 degrees) and well ventilated 
  • Use the bed only for sleeping and intimacy (avoid TV, reading, or other activities in bed)
  • Limit liquids an hour before bed and use the bathroom just before bed
  • Reduce stress – mediation and psychotherapy can help
  • Choose light clothing and sheets
  • Get regular exercise and mental stimulation during the day
  • Try to get natural sunlight during the day
  • Look into the CBT-I Coach App by the VA


  • Napping during the day
  • Excess caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
  • Eating before bed (especially spicy foods)