Five sleeping tips for seniors

Five sleeping tips for seniors

The Dalai Lama once said, “Sleep is the best meditation.” Getting the right amount of sleep is vital to living a healthy life. People over the age of 65 need at least five hours of sleep per night but ideally closer to seven or eight, The National Sleep Foundation says. Late-night bathroom visits, a sore body, general restlessness and other distractions mean getting this necessary sleep is not always easy. That’s why we want to share a few tips to help you get to bed quicker, stay asleep longer and get true, deep, restful sleep.

Get up, get active!

It’s hard to sleep when you’re not tired. Making time for regular exercise is not only better for your general health but benefits your ability to sleep as well. Staying active and performing aerobic workouts has been shown to reduce your chance of struggling with sleep apnea and insomnia. Just make sure not to work out too close to your bedtime. Have at least a three-hour window before hitting the hay after exercising.

Stay on schedule

The human body runs best on set schedules. Staying on a steady sleep schedule not only ensures regular sleep but has been shown to increase the amount and quality of sleep each night. Staying on a regular schedule down to the minute can be hard but eliminating any large swings in your sleep cycle can begin to make an impact.

Remove tempting tech

Getting in too much screen time can affect your ability to fall asleep. The blue wavelengths put out by devices such as cellphones and TVs cause the body to become more alert and hamper delta brainwaves that help induce sleep. While eliminating technology altogether is not practical in today’s day and age, ending your screen time 30 to 60 minutes prior to bed can make all the difference.

Prepare for good sleep

Your bedroom is meant for sleeping! Using your bed only for sleeping helps your body become accustomed to the environment. Reducing light sources and the temperature helps create a better sleeping environment. Going a step farther and adding a routine to your sleep schedule can help prepare your body for a good night’s rest.

Monitor food and drinks

They say you are what you eat. This longstanding notion applies to our ability to sleep as well. Staying away from sleep disruptors such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol is an easy way to boost your chances of getting restful sleep. Eliminating late-night snack runs and heavy, greasy food before bed can help settle your stomach and reduce nighttime discomfort.

We encourage you to evaluate the factors affecting your sleep and figure out which of our suggestions could make the most significant impact for you. We understand everyone’s sleep schedule is unique, so explore your habits to find what works best.