No one likes getting a bad night’s sleep. You toss and turn in your bed, unable to calm all the thoughts racing through your mind. And when you get up in the morning, you’re left feeling exhausted, achy and drained of any energy you need to have a productive day. No matter how old we are, sleep is an important part of our overall health.
But as you naturally age, it can actually be more difficult to not only fall asleep, but maintain a deep sleep needed to refresh your mind and body after a long day. In fact, a recent study showed that sleep for older adults tends to be more disrupted. So, what can you do to help make sure you’re getting good quality sleep?
It all starts with working on your sleep hygiene. With the right tips and tricks, you can improve your sleep habits and enjoy more nights of healthy and relaxing sleep.
Our Top Sleep Tips for Seniors
1. Practice Ways to Lower Your Stress Levels
Life has a way of throwing curve balls at us when we least expect them. Monthly bills, chaotic work environments, family conflicts and medical problems all lead to increased stress levels that can negatively impact your sleep. In fact, stress is one of the leading causes of insomnia for seniors.
Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to help reduce your stress. Activities like yoga, afternoon nature walks and exercise can all help you relax and feel better. If you find that your mind is the most active right before bed, try meditating for 10 minutes to regulate your breathing and clear your mind for sleep. Even confiding in a friend or family member can help ease your stress and worries. And at Silver Maples, we offer plenty of activities that can help you stay active, well connected and lower your stress levels.
2. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
The simple act of having a set schedule can do wonders for your quality of sleep. Did your parents ever limit the amount of evenings you were allowed to stay up late as a child? This is because going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps get your mind and body into a healthy rhythm. If you disrupt that rhythm with an inconsistent sleep schedule, you’ll find it harder to sleep well.
It’s also worth noting that a consistent sleep schedule means limiting the naps you take throughout the day. Extended or multiple naps actually make it harder to fall asleep again at night. If you feel like you need to take a nap, keep it under 20 minutes to avoid disrupting your natural sleep rhythms.
3. Make Your Bedroom a Place for Sleeping
Your environment is also extremely important for high quality sleep. Would you fall into a deep sleep in a bright room with loud noises all around you? Probably not. And even if you’ve fallen asleep in front of the TV before, the bright screen and volume most likely prevented you from sleeping well and may have even woken you up a couple times. In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, you need to make your room dark, quiet and cool.
This type of environment actually encourages your mind and body to sleep because the darkness eases your mind and the cooler room temperature serves as a natural cue for your body to relax. The next time you’re tossing and turning in bed, take a couple minutes to see if any lights, sounds or the room temperature are making you too uncomfortable to sleep.
4. A Proper Diet Equals Proper Sleep
Your diet plays a large role in the quality of sleep you get at night. Start by doing your best to avoid foods with high amounts of sugar or fat. You also should stay away from eating heavy meals in the evenings because heavier foods are harder to digest as you get older. If you eat heavy meals in the late evenings, you may not be sleeping well because your body is literally trying to digest your food.
And while it may sound obvious, avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol in the evenings. Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you awake, while alcohol can wake you up once your body starts to process it. Instead, try drinking herbal tea or water in the evenings to help you relax and stay hydrated.
A Vibrant Lifestyle Awaits at Silver Maples
Getting quality sleep is a major part of living a healthy life. After all, getting a good night’s sleep helps you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle anything the day brings. But sleep is only one part of a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. Individuals who move to Silver Maples enjoy a life that is full of convenience and meaning. If you’re ready to learn more about what life is like at Silver Maples, our friendly staff is happy to answer any questions you have. Contact our team today to schedule a tour and discover the enriching lifestyle waiting for you at Silver Maples.