Everyone needs sleep for our bodies to function properly, however it’s not always that easy to get that all-important snooze.
Sleep is important for both our physical and emotional health, but as we get older we tend to enjoy less deep sleep. This is often due to becoming sleepy earlier and waking up earlier, just general changes to our normal sleeping patterns.
Home Instead would like to share some top tips on how you can help overcome age-related sleep problems and hopefully get you on track for a good night’s rest.
Have a sleep schedule and go to bed/ wake up at the same times every day, even on weekends. This will help get your biological clock in a routine.
Learning something new can help exercise your mind and tire it out. Engaging in social activities, seeing the family or volunteering are other great ways to tire your mind.
Avoid watching TV or looking at a tablet/ computer an hour before bedtime
The bright light from the screens stimulates the brain as well as affecting the melatonin levels needed for quality sleep.
Diet and exercise
Eat a healthy diet during the day and it’s particularly important to watch what you put in your body in the hours leading up to bedtime. Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and chocolate) late in the day.
Exercise will also help to tire your body as well as relieving stress and improve your mood. However, exercising within three hours of bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep as it stimulates your heart, brain and muscles- opposite to what is needed.
Develop soothing bedtime rituals
Taking a bath, playing music, or practicing a relaxation technique such as meditation or deep breathing can help you wind down.
Minimize liquid intake before sleep
Limit what you drink within the hour and a half before bedtime. Drinking too much too close to bed time will increase your need to urinate and therefore disturb your sleep.