Sleep is crucial for our overall health and well-being, especially as we age. Unfortunately, many older adults struggle with getting enough quality sleep. Changes in our bodies, lifestyles, and environment can all affect the quality of our sleep, which can have a significant impact on our recovery from illness or injury. Thankfully, there are strategies for improving your sleep as you age.
Tips To Sleep Better
Here are some techniques you should implement in your day-to-day life to ensure you are getting the right amount and quality of sleep.
1. Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine
One important thing you can do to improve sleep quality is to establish a consistent routine. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. It can also help you feel more alert and energized during the day.
2. Create a Relaxing Sleep Environment
Your sleep environment can have a significant impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Consider investing in blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to block out any noise or light that might disturb your sleep. You may also want to experiment with different mattress and pillow types to find what works best for you. There are many sleep accessory options available to choose from.
3. Avoid Stimulants Before Bed
Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Avoid consuming these substances in the hours leading up to bedtime. You may also want to limit your intake of alcohol, which can disrupt your sleep later in the night.
4. Limit Screen Time Before Bed
The blue light emitted by electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers can interfere with your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Try to avoid using these devices for at least an hour before bed. If you must use them, consider using blue light-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters out blue light.
5. Stay Active During the Day
Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Try to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week. This could include anything from walking or biking to more vigorous activities like jogging or swimming. Just be sure to finish your workout at least a few hours before bedtime to allow your body time to wind down.
6. Manage Stress
Stress and anxiety can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. There are many different strategies for managing stress, from deep breathing exercises to mindfulness meditation. Find what works best for you and try to incorporate it into your daily routine.
7. Address Any Underlying Medical Issues
There are many medical conditions that can interfere with sleep, including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and chronic pain. If you’re having trouble sleeping despite your best efforts, it’s important to speak with your doctor. They may recommend testing or treatment for an underlying medical issue that’s contributing to your sleep disturbances.
8. Consider Therapy
If you’re struggling with persistent anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, therapy can be a valuable tool for improving your sleep quality. A therapist can help you identify and address any underlying emotional issues that may be interfering with your ability to sleep.
9. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization can help calm your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. Try incorporating these techniques into your bedtime routine to help you unwind and relax.
10. Don’t Force It
Finally, it’s important to remember that you can’t force yourself to fall asleep. If you’ve been lying in bed for more than 20 minutes without falling asleep, get up and do a quiet, relaxing activity like reading or listening to calming music.
These methods may help you practice better sleep habits and get the sleep necessary to stay healthy and happy. If the issue persists, make sure to contact your doctor and see what other options are available.
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Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver specialized skilled nursing services to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization.
South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations masterfully combine to provide you with a high level of quality health care. As one of Southern California’s leading post-acute provider, we maintain a reputation for personalized care and dedicated support.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help you on your journey back to restored health.