Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important factors to living a healthy life. Most older adults need as much sleep as their younger counterparts, which is around 7-9 hours of sleep to feel rested and alert. However, as you age, your sleep patterns may change, and you might find it harder to fall asleep. This could be due to multiple reasons, such as health concerns like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome or anxiety.
Some common sleep changes in older adults include getting tired earlier in the evening, waking up multiple times in the night or even having insomnia. These sleep changes can rob you of a night’s rest, which is why we’ve put together a list of sleep tips for seniors.
Sleep tips for seniors to feel rested
Keep a bedtime routine
As humans, we are creatures of habit. By performing the same activities before bed and making sure you sleep at the same time every night, your brain will start to associate those activities with sleep. Through these routines, you will also reduce late night stress and worries, making it easier for you to fall asleep. As part of your natural sleep-wake cycle, your brain starts to wind down a few hours before you hop into bed. By sticking to a strict bedtime, you will make that process more effective.
Calm your mind
Meditation works wonders for the mind. By meditating regularly, you are training your mind to practice awareness and mindfulness to reach a state of peacefulness. This is extremely helpful to make sense of your thoughts and calm them right before you sleep. If you find your thoughts running wild when you rest your head on the pillow, practicing meditation will help you reach a tranquil state of mind.
Exercise during the day
Have you ever hopped into bed, only to find yourself lying awake for hours? Regularly exercising has been scientifically proven to reduce sleep onset, meaning the time it takes to fall asleep. Physical activity has also been linked to alleviating daytime sleepiness. This will prevent you from wanting to nap throughout the day and ensure that you’re tired by the time you hop into bed.
Limit noise and light in your bedroom
To get a good night’s sleep, you will need to limit any distractions in your bedroom. There’s nothing worse than being on the verge of falling asleep only to be woken up by a phone buzzing or flashing a light. Keep your room dark and quiet so that you can give yourself the best chances to falling asleep tightly.
If you are having problems falling asleep or you’re feeling sleepy during the day, then you should talk to your doctor about it. Whilst these sleep tips for seniors may help you get a better night’s sleep, you should always seek the help of a professional.