No one is quite sure why humans have a natural need to sleep, though there have been countless studies performed on the subject. Most doctors and scientific research experts however agree that sleep is an essential part of restoring our physical and mental health.
As we age, our night time sleep patterns tend to become more erratic. We wake more frequently throughout the night for a variety of reasons and consequently achieve far less than the regular 8 hours per night which is generally recommended for adults. In addition to changing sleeping patterns, as we age, certain sleep disorders can occur more frequently which further add to the night time disruptions. Tiredness and disorientation due to lack of sleep can all add to the risk of falls. For me therefore, encouraging my clients to get regular sleep is always a priority.
Sleep is vital for all of us. However, as older people experience different sleeping patterns to their younger counterparts, it is important to understand the changes in our sleep cycle and how we can best adjust to these changes. To ensure we get a regular amount of daily sleep ‘in the bank’ as it were, here are a few tips to help. They are by no means ‘rocket science’ but worth following all the same:
Develop a sleeping routine - Getting to bed at the same time every night can help acclimatise our body to a more regular pattern of sleep.
Create a good sleep environment – Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Creating an environment conducive to sleeping will help ensure you actually do get your required amount of shuteye.
Exercise regularly - People who live sedentary lives are more susceptible to disrupted sleep through the night and consequently tend to be more sluggish the following day. One brisk walk during the day can help you sleep much better at night.
Watch what you eat - Keep consumption of caffeinated drinks to a minimum in the evenings and be mindful of what you eat in the hours before bedtime.
Make your bedroom a place for sleep – Try to remove some of the distractions we keep in our bedrooms so that when we go to bed it is to sleep, not to catch up on TV, check the internet etc.
These helpful tips may help you to get more quality rest each night for a healthier you!
This article was published by Home Instead Reading in Xn Magazine