There is nothing in the world like getting a perfect night’s sleep. As time goes on it becomes more and more important. The older we get the harder it gets to fall asleep and stay asleep. As you age your sleep naturally changes and slowly goes to a newer pattern. Abnormal sleep changes include: trouble falling asleep, waking up tired or grumpy, having a hard time concentrating during the day, or having to rely on sleeping pills every night. If this is a consistent problem make sure to consult a doctor or sleep apnea professional.
Adjust Your Sleep Schedule
Your sleep patterns change with your age. When you are tired or feel unrested it’s usually because of your sleep patterns and you not implementing change in your schedule to adjust for your new patterns of sleep. The best thing to fix your sleep issues is to take short naps. If you take a short nap when you are tired you can refresh yourself and have more energy for the tasks throughout your day. Another thing that can help is going to bed earlier or waking up earlier to accommodate for the changes.
Develop a Routine and Consistent Sleep Schedule
Having a routine can help your body get ready for sleep. The routine is super important. Decide on a specific bedtime and try to stick with it as much as possible. You have to actually get read for bed. Stop watching television an hour before bed, turn down the lights in the house, and engage in activities that will allow your body to slow down like reading, journaling, and listening to calm music. As you create a regular bedtime routine, your body will naturally respond.
Create a Conducive Sleep Environment
Quiet, dark, cool environments are likely going to result in the best sleep. Everyone’s a little bit different but these are the biggest commonalities. You may need to change your window coverings to limit light, put your alarm clock out of view, turn down the thermostat, buy ear plugs, or avoid watching television in your bedroom. Try different ideas until you find the ones that work for you.
Limit Certain Foods
Certain foods are known to have a negative effect on the quality of sleep. For example sugary foods may give you Restless leg syndrome right before bed. Limit these foods and drinks, and especially avoid them right before bed time. Some of these foods are sugar, alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine. Eating large meals right before bed may also create problems, regardless of what food is involved.
Avoid drinking a lot of water before bedtime, otherwise you may be up using the bathroom several times during the night. This interrupts your sleep cycle and can keep you awake into the night. Instead, drink the majority of your liquids earlier in the day. You want to minimize reasons for waking up during the night.
Identify Outside Stresses
Stress, depression, anxiety and other outside factors can have a big impact on sleep. Your mind relaxes at night as well as your body. It will still function and work but it is at a different state. Mental and emotional health may be the root cause of poor sleep. There’s a reason they say counting sheep works for going to sleep. It puts your mind at ease. Find ways to rest and relax from the stresses that you face. Meditation or other relaxation techniques may be beneficial.
Spend Time in the Sunlight
Everything matters, something as simple as a lack of sunlight can cause sleep problems. This is a scary thought. It seems like everything that we do can change how we sleep and what happens to our bodies in the future. Sunlight provides our bodies with vitamin D, helps maintain melatonin levels, and keeps our bodies on the right sleep-wake cycle. Aim for 2 hours of sunlight each day.
Plan Social Interactions
Family is super important in your physical and emotional health. Spending time with friends and family can improve your mood and overall well-being. These types of social interactions can actually be very helpful when it comes to sleep as well. Consider joining a senior’s group, plan activities with friends, or find opportunities to volunteer. A friendly neighbor can give you meaning and opportunity. Assisting hands have very nice caregivers that provide meaning and personal interaction. They can also help with anything that you need.