Some sleep pattern changes are normal as we age, but if you aren’t getting enough restful sleep as a senior, your mental and physical health can decline and you will be more at risk for falls, confusion, and depression. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips for sleeping better for older adults.
Tip #1 – Identify and Address Underlying Issues
Sleep difficulties are often the result of an underlying but treatable cause. By considering any and all potential causes of restlessness or lack of sleep, you can begin to address them and work to resolve them in order to get a more peaceful sleep at night. The most common issues that have been known to cause insomnia and trouble sleeping are:
- Recent traumatic experiences
- Certain medications
- Certain health problems
Tip #2 – Adjust Your Daily Habits
Sometimes your everyday activities and habits can have an effect on your quality of sleep at night. Generally, people sleep best in dark, quiet, cool rooms. If your bedroom has artificial lights on at night, is very warm, or is noisy (from the sound of a TV in the background, a ticking clock, etc.), it is quite the opposite of ideal when it comes to sleep-inducing bedroom conditions.
Avoid reading from backlit devices before bed, like phones or tablets. Try to only use your bedroom for sleep, so that your brain associates the bedroom with sleep and no other activities. Maintain a regular bedtime routine and sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up around the same time each day.
Tip #3 – Diet & Exercise
If you enjoy a cup of coffee or two after dinner and have trouble sleeping, the two are most likely related unless your go-to is decaf. Avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee, sodas, certain teas, and alcohol, too, before bedtime. Try to eat medium-sized meals for dinner rather than large ones and avoid spicy foods at night, as both can have negative effects on your digestive system which can bother you throughout the night.
Swimming, dancing, and other aerobic activities release chemicals in your body that promote restful sleep. Be sure to not over-exert yourself and if you have mobility issues, opt for exercises like yoga and even mental exercises like meditation that will help your body and mind relax for better sleep.
Tip #4 – Reduce Stress
Stress is one of the most common causes of sleep issues and finding healthy ways to let go of worry and reduce anxiety can be very helpful in getting a more restful sleep at night. Some activities you can do to reduce your stress levels are:
- Read relaxing books
- Keep a journal and record your thoughts
- Meet with a licensed therapist
- Listen to calming music
- Get a massage
- Meditate before bed
- Talk with friends and family about the things that worry you
Kenwood Care: Senior Home in Columbia, MD
Living at home when you’re aging, whether with family or alone, can cause stress, worry, and be unhealthy for your sleeping habits. You might not be getting the care and attention you need, or you might be overwhelmed by the activities or lifestyles of those you are living with.
Kenwood Care offers relaxing assisted living residences to those looking for a healthy life in a friendly community where they can get the care they need. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you age comfortably in any of our four locations in Howard County.