Many things change as we age. Family structures changes, friendships change, our bodies change, and so do our minds. Sometimes the changes make life better, and sometimes they bring more challenges. For seniors, the changes that happen can be frustrating and difficult to deal with. One area that many struggle with is getting good sleep. To understand how to get good sleep, it’s important to understand what good sleep looks like.
What Is The “Right” Amount Of Sleep?
There really is no “right” amount of sleep. The amount of sleep you need is unique to you and what your body is going through. For adults, the most common answer you hear to that question is “between 7 to 9 hours”, but many seniors will sleep less hours and wake up feeling refreshed. Also, if your body has been fighting illness, it may take more sleep to feel refreshed. Listen to your body and try to set yourself on a schedule. If your body is on a routine, it is easier to wake up and fall asleep.
Develop Good Sleep Habits
Sleeping is sleeping, yes. But there are things you can do before you lay down so that your body (and mind) have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Avoid napping during the day – Your body can get thrown off by day naps, so avoid them if you can and help your body get a full night’s rest.
- No phones in the bedroom – If you do want your phone in the bedroom, turn your notifications off and move your phone out of reach. Phones can be a distraction and keep you from falling asleep.
- Take a bath – A warm bath before bed can calm your body and ease your mind. Slow down your pace and relax before you get into bed.
- No drinks before bed – Limit your fluid intake before bed. This will keep you from waking up all night for bathroom breaks.
Other Things To Consider
If you are struggling with sleep issues, you may want to check the side effects of any medications. Some can cause sleep disturbances or boosts in energy and can make falling or staying asleep difficult. If you aren’t very active during the day, your body may not feel tired by bedtime. Get your body moving during the day with exercise and outside activities – this is a great way to wear your body out and get it ready for sleep before it is time to go to bed.
Also, remember to eat well. A poor diet or a hungry stomach are not easy to forget about while you are trying to sleep. Your body is changing and has different needs than it is accustomed to. Though it may be frustrating trying to figure out what it needs and how to take care of it properly, there are things you can do to help yourself out. If you have been trying these strategies and are struggling still with sleep, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. As we age there can be several issues that we don’t understand or expect, so don’t hesitate to speak with someone for advice and recommendations.