Good sleep can make a world of difference in how we feel and our ability to handle stress, anxiety, depression, and daily tasks.
For seniors, sleep can sometimes be elusive, and even when it does come, it’s often interrupted by body pain or the need to take a trip to the restroom. When we don’t get the sleep we need, our bodies and minds suffer, making it difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks, yet it can be hard to find a way to change things for the better.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many simple things you can do to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, both in quality and quantity. Taking care of yourself is the best way to start; by getting daily exercise, eating well, and learning healthy ways to cope with negative emotions and stress, you can help your body and mind wind down for the day.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to get better sleep.
Get in a Workout
Exercising daily does more than keep you fit; it also boosts your mood and increases the amount of time you spend in a deep sleep at night. A good workout routine can also boost your immune system and reduce stress and anxiety, which can have a positive effect on your mental health and help you relax when you’re ready to button up the day.
Find the Right Bedding
Since your mattress and linens play a big role in your sleep, it stands to reason that they can contribute heavily to whether you’re able to get quality rest. The right mattress will ensure that your back is supported, that the temperature of your body is controlled, and that your comfort is a priority. Think about the type of mattress you need -- memory foam, gel foam, and latex are popular options -- and whether it will fit your current bed frame (queen is the most popular size, so if you’re unsure of the size, it’s most likely to be queen; when in doubt, break out the tape measure). It’s also good to have the right pillows and linens to help keep you cozy and comfortable while you’re trying to sleep.
What you eat and drink can have a big impact on your health, and that includes your ability to get good rest. Not only are certain foods better for sleep than others, the amount you eat can also contribute to your ability to stay in a deep sleep. Things that are spicy, starchy foods, and too many liquids can cause indigestion and prevent you from getting good rest and prompt wakefulness during the night.
Having too much clutter around your home -- especially in the bedroom -- can contribute to a lack of good sleep because it can affect your mental health. Too many items packed into your home can leave you feeling chaotic and out of control, which can, in turn, lead to stress and anxiety and the inability to relax. Remove excess items from your home, and start in your bedroom to ensure you get the maximum benefit. It can also help to add plants to the area, as these contribute to the amount of clean oxygen in your home and help you feel better.
Reduce Blue Light
Devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones emit blue light, which has a negative effect on our ability to get into a deep sleep and stay there. This means it’s a good idea to turn off these devices at least an hour before bedtime to give your mind time to wind down.
Getting better sleep doesn’t have to be a struggle; with a good plan and preparation, you can make good rest a part of your routine. If you find that sleep is elusive or if you have trouble with waking most nights during the week, talk to your doctor about a possible solution.
Article submitted by Karen Weeks of ElderWellness.net. Karen believes nothing is off-limits to seniors, and created her website after retirement to help spread the word!