Women often have trouble sleeping as they get older. What causes insomnia in the first place? "That's often stress hormones and the wrong kind of diet," Dr. Northrup says.
The first step to a better night's sleep is decreasing the amount of white foods—like pasta and sugar—in your diet. "If they get off the white foods, there are high glycemic index carbs. Glycemic index is raising your blood sugar quickly."
Instead, try to eat more foods with omega-3 fats—including salmon, ground flaxseed and macadamia nuts. "When you eat that way, you find that it will decrease insulin. It will also decrease stress hormones, and there's less inflammation in your brain and you'll sleep like a babe."
Another way to avoid another night staring at the ceiling, Dr. Northrup says, is to establish a calming routine before bed. "The other thing people do, they surf the net right before they go to bed or they watch TV right before they go to bed and this excites the brain," she says. "You need to give yourself an hour before going to bed to get ready for sleep. A warm bath. A romance novel. ... Get the TV out of your bedroom."