Getting Older Doesn’t Have To Mean Poor Sleep
Poor Sleep Can Be a Consequence of Aging, But It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way
Getting older can signal troubling times for our quality of sleep, for many reasons. For one, older people are more likely to snore than younger people. As we get older, it can also be more difficult to get comfortable than it used to. A lumpy mattress or flat pillows might not have bothered you as much when you were a teenager—but as you get older, these little details start to make a bigger and bigger difference — adding up to poor sleep.
But one of the biggest reasons for an onset of poor sleep quality in older people has to do with prescription medications. As people get older and start to take medicine for things that are ailing them, they are also suffering from sleep-related side effects as a result… and this is certainly not good.
Even worse, many older people don’t talk about their sleeping problems with their doctor.
But getting older does not have to mean suffering with poor sleep. You absolutely deserve to sleep well… and here are some tips that can help you to overcome the problem.
1. Maintain a Consistent Bedtime
Going to bed at the same time each night can do wonders to help you keep your sleep quality high, and your daytime fatigue low. Keeping the same schedule on weekends and during trips is also important.
It is also important to spend some time relaxing before bed. Scheduling downtime before bed is almost as important as scheduling a regular bedtime!
2. Don’t Nap as Often
It might be tempting to take a nap in the late afternoon if you feel fatigued… but this could also impede your ability to sleep later on in the evening.
If you find yourself failing to fall asleep when bedtime hits, then you might need to avoid napping so late in the day. Or, if you must nap, keep it short. A 20-minute power nap is a lot different from a 3-hour deep-sleep nap.
3. Avoid Using Electronic Screens Before Bed
Put your cell phone, tablet, and laptop away at least an hour before bedtime, as the light from these devices can trick your brain into thinking that it is daytime, and time to stay awake. This can be especially problematic for people who do not spend a lot of time outside during the day.
4. Keep Your Bedroom Cool
Did you know that humans tend to sleep better in cooler temperatures? Instead of cranking up the heat and sweating, turn on the air conditioner and cover up to stay nice and warm. It really does make a difference. Athletes often turn their thermostats down to their minimum setting for this exact reason.
A higher body temperature tends to induce wakefulness, while a lower core body temperature will tend to make you more tired.
5. Exercise for at Least 20 Minutes a Day, But Not Within 3 Hours of Bedtime
Exercise is vitally important to human health and wellness.
But exercising right before bed can certainly decrease your ability to fall asleep faster. Working out actually pumps you up and energizes you. For best results, exercise during the day… when you feel tired and sluggish. It just might pump you up, give you a burst of energy, and prepare you for an even better night’s sleep!
6. Avoid Eating Too Close to Bedtime
Yes, eating a snack right before bed, while watching your favorite show, is pretty awesome… but it is NOT going to promote better sleep! For best results, eat your last snack or meal at least 2 hours before you hit the covers.