How Seniors Can Form Better Sleep Habits

Jason Lewis

Throughout the #last90days of this year, we are focusing on ways that you and I can finish the year stronger than how we started it, and guess what? Sleep has a HUGE part to play in that equation for overall better health. In a time where we go go go, have TV, or Tablets, or smartphones going nonstop and chaotic schedules–even after the kids leave home, sleep can definitely be a challenge. Creating a healthy sleep habit isn’t just for babies and children, it’s for you and me whether we are 3 months or 65 years of age. In today’s guest post, you will learn how seniors can form better sleep habits which will help you finish the year strong!

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Many Americans struggle with getting adequate rest every night, leaving them feeling worn out, groggy and unable to face the next day the way they’d like. For seniors who have trouble sleeping, the effects can be devastating to their physical and mental health and can cause long-term issues, making it imperative to find ways to relax and form better sleep habits.

Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be difficult. The key is to suss out the source of the problem and start from there. If your sleep is interrupted by a full bladder or by pets who spend the night on your bed, you might stop consuming liquids at least an hour before bedtime or place your pet’s bed on the floor beside yours rather than allowing him to sleep with you. There are other things you can do, as well, such as starting a bedtime routine to help relax your body and mind before the day ends. 

Keep reading for some great tips on how to get better sleep.

Keep the temperature where you want it

Trying to sleep when you’re too hot or too cold never works, so keep the temperature in your bedroom as regulated as possible. This may prove tricky in the summer or deep into the winter, but there are things you can do to help, such as investing in blackout curtains to keep the sun’s rays from invading your room, using a ceiling fan to keep air circulating, or adding extra blankets to your bed (and socks to your feet) when it’s cold out. 

Get the right mattress

The right mattress and bedding can help immensely when it comes to getting better rest. If your mattress is more than seven years old, you should consider replacing it, especially if you wake up with aches and pains. Shop around for the right mattress for your needs; think about temperature control, how firm or soft you’d like it to be, and what kind of support it will give to your back and neck. Not only do mattresses come in a variety of sizes, but also feature densities, thickness and firmness levels for your body’s support. 

Start a routine

A good bedtime routine will help you relax before it’s time to hit the sheets. Start by creating a plan in the hour before you usually go to bed. In that time, stop drinking and eating and do something relaxing such as reading a book or taking a hot shower. Turn off the television and any devices you may use, such as a tablet or smartphone, as the blue light that these items emit has been shown in studies to have a negative effect on sleep. Creating a routine will help your mind prepare for rest so you can unwind once you go to bed.

Treat your body right

Eating well and exercising daily can have a profound effect on your sleep habits, so it’s important to get in a daily workout for at least 30 minutes and figure out the right diet for your needs.  You can find a number of beneficial classes suitable for you right here at Thrive Yoga and Wellness. Remember, the key to exercise is to start. No matter what your age, it is NEVER too late to start exercising, and yoga is a SUPER great exercise for folks over 50. 

Talk to your doctor about the best foods for you; start with protein and dark, leafy greens, which help build strong bones and will keep your joints healthy. No matter how well you eat or how much you exercise, there still may be gaps in your nutrition, so consider taking a multivitamin. These vitamins can raise your energy and improve the health of your bones, eyes, and teeth. 
Forming better sleep habits is important at any age, but for seniors, it’s the best way to stay healthy, boost energy and overall well-being and prevent disease and mental health issues such as memory loss and depression. The type of sleep you’re getting is just as important as how much. For instance, you may have no trouble going to sleep but find that you can’t stay there, or you may lay awake for hours before you finally drift off. With a good plan, you and your doctor can create better sleep habits that will keep you feeling rested and happy for years to come.