5 Tips For a Good Night's Sleep
By getting enough sleep you help your body to rejuvenate, while avoiding fatigue, bad mood, low focus, and a long list of health issues linked to poor sleep quality.
(Sleep Photo: Matheus Vinicius via Unsplash)
Older adults, especially seniors, are highly susceptible to common sleep issues such as insomnia and sleep apnea – but these 5 ultimate sleep habits and tips will help you secure a good night’s sleep.
Common Sleep Issues for Seniors and Older Adults
As our body ages, we are going through multiple changes in our daily routine, including our sleeping patterns. People age 50+ start to experience various sleep issues more often than in any other age group. We tend to fall asleep earlier, wake up early, and have less deep sleep during the night.
We also begin to struggle with issues such as sleep apnea and insomnia. If you share a bed with someone, then even if one partner has a good sleep quality, it tends to get disturbed by the sleep issue that the other partner is experiencing. For example, individuals with sleep apnea tend to snore loudly, thus interrupting the sleep of those lying next to them.
5 Ultimate Sleep Tips
1. Develop a soothing wind-down routine
Think of activities that you find soothing and relaxing. Maybe you are thinking of a hot shower or bath. Perhaps you find reading or meditating relaxing – you can even create your own little zen oasis. Or maybe listening to some classical music for stress relief does the trick for you and relaxes both your body and mind.
Combine your favorite relaxing activities and create a wind-down routine. The idea is to get relaxed enough so that you induce sleep. Finish any work around the house earlier in the day and enjoy a relaxing evening alone, or with your partner. Both of you can enjoy this soothing wind-down routine to help you fall asleep faster.
2. Use physical intimacy to induce sleep
Make it a part of your wind-down routine to spend time with your partner. Revisit old memories and share physical intimacy. Whether it is kissing, hugging, or sex – the choice is up to you. There is no denying that physical intimacy will help improve your mood by stimulating the release of endorphins, thus inducing sleep as well.
3. Rely on a sleep schedule
Having a sleep schedule that allows the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night is a must, no matter your age. Children, adults, and the elderly can all benefit equally from an effective sleep schedule. Your sleep schedule does not have to be complicated.
Make sure that you go to bed and wake up each morning at the same time. Plan out your activities before and after bedtime so that you have enough time for your wind-down routine as well. But it is not enough to simply create that sleep schedule of yours. Dedicate yourself to it and stay consistent for ultimate results.
4. Keep an eye on your fluid intake
One of the reasons why seniors, especially elderly men, struggle with poor sleep quality is because of having weak bladder history. Getting up in the middle of the night to visit the restroom can interrupt your sleep.
And to think that the solution could not be easier – if you want to put an end to the bathroom visits in the middle of the night, simply limit your fluid intake in the evening. Doctors often advise their patients to keep away from any beverages at least one to two hours before sleep.
Speaking of limiting fluids, do eliminate caffeine after 5 p.m. The half-life of caffeine is thought to be five hours. If you go to bed at 10 p.m., get into the sleep habit of having your last cup of green tea or coffee no later than 5 p.m. Caffeinated beverages may be a great way to wake up your body and mind in the morning, but they are NOT a good choice in the evening.
5. Stay active
Often, adults make the mistake of skipping on daily exercise, especially as they get older, busier, and have more aches and pains. Physical activity is, again, something that we can all benefit from, no matter our age. It’s important to make necessary changes and adjust the physical activity depending on your current needs and abilities. Always consult your doctor / a fitness expert, before starting a new physical activity.
Aim for around 30 minutes of light exercise, around 3 to 5 days per week. Choose from yoga, tai chi, swimming, walking, cycling, or jogging, as some of the best workouts for seniors and older adults. Keep in mind that you should finish your workout at least 4 hours before your bedtime. That will allow enough time for your body to cool down.
By having a wind-down routine, we can induce sleep. And by avoiding any caffeine and fluids at least two hours before bed, we can help avoid waking up in the middle of the night. It is through such habits that we can achieve a satisfying sleep quality – one that helps us maintain our good health as we age. There are many other things you can do to have a better sleep; investing in a quality mattress is a must.
For more information, sleep tips, and studies, please visit SleepStandards.com.
*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or mental health advice, nor is it a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician or mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately. This website does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site or on other websites it links to. Reliance on any information provided by this website or other websites it links to, is solely at your own risk.*