Senior Snippets: Tips for sleeping well

Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Home Instead in Watford.

As we age we often experience normal changes in our sleeping patterns, such as becoming sleepy earlier, waking up earlier, or enjoying less deep sleep. Sleep is important for both physical and mental well being.

These tips can help you overcome age-related sleep problems and get a good night’s rest.

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, even on weekends. Our bodies love schedules, so try and keep a rhythm with sleep and you’ll find yourself feeling more refreshed when you wake.

Keep busy: Social activities, seeing the family, volunteering or learning something new can all help to tire you out for the night.

Don’t look at screens at least an hour before bed: Watching TV or looking at tablets before bed can suppress melatonin levels and affect your sleep.

Develop calming bedtime rituals: Taking a bath, reading, or practicing a relaxation technique such as meditation can help you to wind down in the evenings and gives you something to look forward to! Be careful not to make your bath too hot though, as your body temperature naturally drops allowing you to sleep, and a hot bath will elevate your body temperature and keep you awake.

Limit caffeine late in the day: Stop drinking anything caffeinated such as tea and coffee, too close to bed time.

Get out into the sunshine: Sunshine regulates melatonin levels and hence affects sleep cycles. Try to get outside for a little while every day. When at home, open the curtains during the day and move your chair into a sunny spot of the room.

To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at [email protected] Alternatively, you can also call me on 01923 250513

Emma Shepherd