Many seniors find that this stage of life brings disruptions to their sleep patterns, which over time can affect their mood, energy, and overall enjoyment of life.
There are many factors that could be affecting your sleep, including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, pain, and certain medications.
While it is beneficial to know the source of your sleep issues, as it can help you find a targeted solution with your doctor, there are many changes you can make on your own right away that can help get you back on track. These can be valuable for a senior care provider to understand as well.
Establish a daily routine
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is an important part of what’s known as “sleep hygiene.” Staying up late, sleeping in, and taking naps can disrupt your body’s natural rhythms, so they should be avoided. Including some activity in your day is also a great way to promote a good night’s rest. Walking, biking, dancing, yoga, and cardio exercises can help you release excess energy so you’re ready to fall asleep at bedtime.
Find ways to relax
Your body will have a much easier time falling asleep if you give it a little help in the form of relaxing activities before bedtime. Meditation, reading, gentle stretching, and taking a warm bath are all good ways to quiet your mind and prepare your body for rest. It’s also important to avoid stimulating or stressful activities, such as watching television, scrolling on your cell phone, or ruminating on negative thoughts.
Create a comfortable environment
Most people find that they sleep better in a room that is cool rather than warm, so adjust the temperature of your bedroom accordingly. This is important in residential senior care. Also, check for sources of light that may be disturbing your sleep, such as the glow from a digital clock or the light from another room that seeps in around the doorframe. Covering these with a cloth or otherwise removing them may have a bigger impact than you expect on improving your sleep.
Give your body time to adjust
It usually takes a little time for these changes to have an impact on your sleep. Try out these strategies for a few weeks and see how you feel. Remember, a good night’s sleep is within your grasp! If you need more support in getting the rest you need, reach out to your health care provider, as they can offer a variety of lifestyle adjustments and treatments that can help.