Sleep is the body’s natural defense against sickness and diseases - using this time to repair the cellular breakdown of the day. Though seemingly one of simplest habits of a healthy lifestyle – sleep remains elusive for millions. With busy and stressful lives, it is often our sleep that suffers.
Sleep can be especially difficult for seniors, as decreased quality of sleep is part of the aging process. However, sleep is crucial to continued health, and it is important for seniors to make every effort to get enough quality sleep.
Following some simple steps can greatly help you get those extra Z’s you need.
Tips for a Sleep Routine
- Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool.
- Use low lighting the hour before bed to help increase your natural levels of melatonin, which will help you sleep.
- Avoid backlit screens, like computers, tablets, televisions, etc., for an hour before you go to bed.
- Face bedside clocks away from the bed to help decrease anxiety about the passing time.
- Follow the same bedtime ritual nightly, as the habit will help you feel ready for bed.
Daytime Habits to Improve Sleep
- Exercise – daily activity will help keep you healthy, as well as promote restful sleep.
- Maintain mental health – anxiety and depression are detrimental to regular sleep cycles.
- Soak in the sunshine – going outside and getting fresh air during the day can help regulate your natural wake/sleep patterns.
- Stay busy during the day, get involved - being active during the day will help you feel tired and ready for bed at night.
Avoid These Sleep Inhibitors
- Bringing distractions into your bedroom, like computers, TVs, and work, can negatively affect sleep. Leave work and entertainment for another room.
- Caffeine and alcohol will make sleep more difficult and should be avoided for several hours before sleep.
- Sleeping pills and sleep aids can be habit forming and actually increase sleeping problem.