A good night’s sleep can dramatically affect our mental and physical health. It can be challenging for seniors to get eight hours of rest amid prescriptions, medical conditions, or even new environments.
In pursuing senior health and wellness, it’s vital to address the hours spent in bed as an essential part of one’s daily routine. If you or a loved one are looking to improve the duration or quality of your sleep, consider the following eight tips.
#1 Develop Consistent Night Time Routines
Going to bed at the same time every night, it’s essential to develop a consistent nightly routine to follow before hitting the sheets. Plan a small 30-minute bedtime ritual of activities like showering, drinking a warm herbal tea, reading a book, or listening to calm music. They can help de-stress our brain and signal to the body that it’s time to go to bed.
Aerobic activity and other forms of physical exercise are a great way to help the body release chemicals that promote a longer, deeper sleep. For those with limited mobility, there are many options like strength training, and stretching for flexibility.
Yoga is a specific type of resistance training that focuses on improving posture, breathing exercises, and meditation. Yoga alleviates stress, helps people lose weight, reduces neck and lower back pain, and improves sleep quality.
#3 Reduce the Stress
The stress felt throughout the day is the biggest enemy in getting a good night’s sleep. Many older adults have sleep problems. Stress may make it more difficult to stay asleep or fall back asleep. When we don’t clear out the stress hormones from the brain during sleep means that the cognitive effects of stress can worsen over time.
So, what does that mean in regards to senior health and wellness? It would be best if you addressed the stress immediately. Reducing stress-inducing factors in a routine, finding outside resources for support, and engaging a therapist as an outlet can all ultimately help improve sleep.
#4 Identify Underlying Problems
Besides overall stress, having a clear understanding of medical history, traumatic experiences, chronic illness, or health concerns can help us address the root of a sleep issue. In many cases, these issues can be treated. Talk to your primary physician if you have trouble sleeping.
#5 Limit Caffeine and Liquids Before Bed
Caffeinated products like soda or coffee hours before bedtime can significantly impact a senior’s ability to fall asleep in the evening. One should focus on consuming these beverages earlier in the day to minimize any negative consequences when it comes to sleep.
Additionally, drinking smaller amounts of liquid before bed can eliminate the need to use the restroom throughout the night.
#6 Get Comfy
If aches or pains are causing restlessness throughout the night, strategically placing body pillows and bolsters can help alleviate some pain and improve sleep quality. For example, an individual who sleeps on their back may want to place a small pillow underneath the knee. A side-sleeper would put that pillow between the knees to support the hips.
In addition to comfort, consider the sleep environment in your nighttime routine. Lower the lights and use a white noise device. White noise can significantly improve sleep in metropolitan areas that have higher environmental noise levels.
#7 Adjust Diet
Seniors’ health and wellness can be achieved by making a few simple lifestyle changes. These life changes eventually have a positive effect on something else, for example, the link between diet and quality of sleep. Eating a healthier diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates can help develop healthy sleep routines and actively benefit overall wellness.
#8 Put Down the Device
Scrolling before bed can reduce melatonin secretion, decrease REM sleep, and mess with your circadian rhythms, making falling asleep more difficult. Putting away devices that emit blue light an hour before bed can help the body relax and prepare for a good night’s rest.
Improve Sleep for Better Health and Wellness | Senior Living in Sun City West
We spend almost one-third of our lives sleeping. Sleep is even more integral to overall senior health and wellness as we age. Use the above tips to improve your or your loved ones sleeping habits.
Avista Sun City West boasts a qualified and experienced staff that provides expert assistance for all your loved ones’ needs. Come visit to see what senior living in Sun City West is about. We look forward to meeting you.