As we get older, sleep seems to become somewhat elusive. The lack of melatonin after age 60 often contributes to insomnia. Many have trouble falling asleep or sleep much too lightly, waking up often in the night. However, older adults need just about as much sleep as a young adult in their 20s. Fortunately, the following tips can help anyone get the recommended amount of sleep with a bit of effort.
Develop A Sleep Routine That Works For You
Older adults need a great deal of consistency in their sleep routines. It’s much easier to get to sleep when you have a routine that really trains your mind and body to get ready for bed. Some find it helps to take a warm bath or to read a book. Others find solace in drinking a warm glass of milk right before bedtime. However you feel the most comfortable, a solid routine can go a long way in getting you the recommended hours of sleep.
A common problem with many adults in general is that they perform stimulating activities right before bedtime such as eating, drinking alcohol or watching an action movie. Meanwhile, these may seem like the right way to fall asleep, they actually keep your mind awake much longer than you would think. You need to let your mind take a break and relax or you’ll find yourself tossing and turning. Listening to calming music or reading a favorite novel is a good way to relax your mind and drift off to sleep.
Ensure You Have The Right Mattress And Pillows
As we age, it’s more than normal to develop achy joints and muscle pains. Unfortunately, the problem is that most adults ignore the importance of a good mattress and the effects that a bad one may have on their sleep patterns. Memory foam mattresses are also a much better sleep aid as we age as the mattress relieves pressure on the points on your body and is able to accommodate all manner of builds.
Pillows are another integral part of really getting to sleep on time. Side sleepers, for example, need just enough head support to eliminate spinal tension. A pillow between the legs is also recommended to help realign the spine. Back sleepers should try putting a small pillow beneath their knees as it helps release tension and makes sleeping more comfortable.
Say No To Afternoon Naps!
Not getting enough sleep at night may contribute to the bad habit of taking afternoon naps. It may seem like a good idea at first, but you’ll throw your body out of balance. In fact, insomnia sufferers often get worse as they age due to their unbroken habit of naps.
Address Your Sleeping Environment
What kind of sleep environment do you have in your bedroom? Mainly, you need to ask whether it is indeed conducive to seep. Changes in temperatures and high noise levels often make it harder to sleep and to stay in bed. Address these problems that seem to surface in the night. Technology and bright lights are other issues that may contribute to fewer hours of sleep.
Deal With Your Stress
Stress and anxiety are perhaps the number one culprits that prevent you from sleeping. The worries that you deal with during the day may come to haunt you at night. Bills, health problems and other issues don’t allow your mind to turn off and relax.
Getting enough sleep as an older adult is an integral part of your life. Whether you suffer from insomnia or you sleep lightly, the above tips can help you create a bedtime routine that addresses your problems.