Open Thread

Open Thread Update: Sleepy Time. Not!

Who knew sleep could stir such a response?  Looks like a lot of us are hoping to improve our sack time and using lots of tips and tricks to get there.

I like Jeanette’s solution – a nap!

I take a nap mid afternoon, read before I turn out the light and pretty much sleep the night through. If I miss my afternoon nap it interrupts my nighttime sleep.


Others like Efi, Joyce and Marin, use a “cocktail” of herbs and supplements as sleep aids that you can read about in their comments…but remember to consult a medical professional first and consider any interactions with medications you are already taking.

Others like Maryann prefer a different, yummier solution…

I’ve read that bananas have tryptophan (like turkey) . Half a banana usually puts me to sleep on a difficult night. Sometimes I try deep breathing. And then there’s always Spotify!


…Victoria’s tea idea sounds good, too! and I like CLT’s zen approach, so make sure you read hers.

There are tons of other good ideas in the comments that I can’t wait to try – check them all out and let us know if they work for you! We’ll keep the comments open for you!

In case you missed it, the original column is below.

Original Text:

I was on vacation recently and I know I was relaxed because I took two naps in one day and still got a solid eight hours that night.

I didn’t know how tired I really was but I was reminded when I got back home.

How did sleep suddenly become a challenge?

It’s not my imagination.  Many studies demonstrate that the ability to get a good night’s sleep drops with age.  It makes me wish I had taken more naps when I was in college.

Sleepy Time Tips

Right now, I’ve been focusing on getting early sun and exercise with a well-curated selection of walking music (Hell-o Sly and the Family Stone!), stopping at half a cup of java at 8 am, and avoiding caffeinated drinks.

Don’t tell me a cocktail will help. If I have a glass of wine or a White Claw with dinner I’ll fall asleep at 9:30…but wake up watching the digital clock tick from 3 am to 3:30am. Besides, when I wake up the next day my mind is so fuzzy I”ll try to put my jeans on over my head or something equally brilliant.

So far my results to improve my sleep have been inconsistent. I have a sleep routine, I got a new mattress topper, my room is a comfortable temperature, I avoid screens before bedtime (OK, Seinfeld, but that’s it!).  What am I missing?

How about you?  How have you been sleeping? Let us know your tips the comments!


Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send  Open Thread suggestions to







Photo: David Clode for Unsplash


13 responses to “Open Thread Update: Sleepy Time. Not!

  1. First of all, sleep is absolutely wasted on the young. I could use it now when I have so much available time. I have tried everything and nothing has worked. I have settled for what the French call dorveille, segmented sleep. In bed at 11, sleep until 1 am, stay awake reading or writing until 4, sleep until 7. I pretend I like it.

  2. I use two Bigelow teabags: Cozy Chamolie helps. Other than that I will end up reading or drawing until I start yawning. I do t use it every nite so it will continue to be effective. I will ask about the magnesium glycine with Valerian.

    Thank you for that suggestion Marin!

  3. I swear by magnesium glycinate, but I also supplement with valerian. Together, I get a full night’s sleep and almost never awaken throughout the night. Here’s a good article on the uses and actions of the various forms of magnesium:
    In addition to the supplements, I find that, as others have mentioned, guided meditations and yoga nidras are very helpful. Belleruth Naparstek has a lovely guided meditation for healthy sleep.

  4. ..when melatonin worked the early part of the night but not so well later, my naturopath recommended glycine (powder, measured by teaspoonful or less, or more)–it works wonders!….exception is occasional problem getting back to sleep in early morning hours after a bathroom visit, and homeopathic remedies can take care of that most of the time.

    1. I take a triplex magnesium, citrate, glycinate and maleate. Also, a small amount of prolonged release melatonin. This combination gets me 8 hours of continuous sleep w one or two bathroom visits. However, thinking ahead, I am looking for options to discontinue/replace the melatonin.

  5. I have always been a bad sleeper and my strategy is to worry about it as little as possible. I will generally not lie tossing and turning if I wake up at night – I either read or get up and watch TV. My belief is that if I keep going about my life even if I haven’t had a huge amount of sleep, and especially get some exercise, then my body will eventually reassert itself and get sleepy. Also I suspect I’m not someone who needs a huge amount of sleep and getting less as I get older.

  6. Have had sleep issues for many years. I try to keep my bedtime consistent and am in bed by 8-8:30 p.m. I take melatonin, use lavender essential oils and can usually fall asleep – but within 1-1/2 to 2 hrs wake up. Wake up several times a night and have a difficult time falling back to sleep – some nights I will be awake from midnight on. Mostly get about 4 hours of broken sleep. I do not nap during the day .

  7. Recently discovered music by Liquid Mind. I now play it every night and float off to sleep. I believe you can stream it on just about any device or buy the CD. I play it for free on a Amazon Echo Dot I bought for $20.

  8. I have used meditations for sleep in the past few years. There is something in there for every taste. I love the guided relaxations for sleep.
    I also found out last year after contacting a functional medicine therapist that I needed to take magnesium citrate to enable me to convert serotonin to melatonin. The improvement in my sleep quality has been wonderful.
    This will obviously not apply to everyone but may be worth seeking medical guidance just in case.
    FYI I live in the UK.

    1. I take a triplex magnesium, citrate, glycinate and maleate. Also, a small amount of prolonged release melatonin. This combination gets me 8 hours of continuous sleep w one or two bathroom visits. However, thinking ahead, I am looking for options to discontinue/replace the melatonin.

  9. I wish I had an answer, a really good one! Something like twinkly lights send me to dream land in 3 minutes flat, or that little machine making ocean waves sound puts me to sleep before the batteries go dead. Instead, I get no sleep 3 nights a week, sleep well 3 nights and the left over 1 is a toss up. I’ll be watching for some REAL answers.

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