5 Proven Secrets to Help Seniors Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Blog post by Jennifer McGregor of PublicHealthLibrary.org
Are you a senior who is sick of tossing and turning at night? Sleep problems are fairly common, but the effects of insomnia and too little sleep can be severe. To start getting the sleep you need and fend off health problems, try out these sleep improvement tips:
Get the Right Mattress
Your mattress is the foundation of your sleep habits. If your mattress is old, worn out or unsupportive, it can make getting quality sleep nearly impossible. Bad mattresses can worsen chronic pain and cause new issues to arise due to lack of sleep, such as a weakened immune system and a higher risk of diabetes. Make sure you have a mattress that truly supports better sleep. Look for a quality mattress that not only supports your sleeping style but also your back to avoid problems with pain. Note that softer mattresses are best for upper back pain, while seniors suffering from lower back pain would do well with a firmer mattress. Once you have found your perfect mattress, make sure you take proper care of this important sleep investment.
Exercise in the Morning
As a senior, you know that exercise is important for keeping you strong and healthy. But did you know the timing of your workout can have an effect on your sleep? Morning workouts may be a good way to wake yourself up and ensure relaxation when it’s time to go to bed again. Exercise tends to give you energy, which isn’t a good thing if you normally exercise at night. Try switching up your fitness routine to the earlier hours to see if that improves your sleep.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool and Your Feet Warm
Did you know there is an optimal temperature for sleeping? Studies show that setting your thermostat below 70 degrees can improve your sleep quality. Your body temperature naturally begins to drop in preparation for sleep. Helping this process by keeping your bedroom cooler can help you get to sleep faster. If you tend to have cold feet that keep you from drifting off, put on some socks instead of turning up the heat at night. While keeping your room cool helps you sleep, warming up your feet can help as well. Wearing warm socks to sleep can also help improve your circulation and prevent hot flashes.
If your bedroom isn’t the optimal temperature, a leaky window could be the culprit. Window repair averages $290, depending on the type of window and repair. To find a quality contractor, search “home window repair near me” and look over reviews and ratings from past customers. Only work with licensed and insured companies.
Turn Off Screens to Turn Off Your Mind
If you sleep with a television in your room, you may be negatively impacting your sleep. While watching television may help you drift off to sleep, screen time before bed can actually impair your mind’s ability to get the rest it needs. Blue light from televisions, smartphones and computers causes the human brain to become more alert, so it’s best to avoid these screens when it’s time to go to bed. Keep those electronics out in the living room, and try to cut them off at least an hour or so before you go to bed. If you need to use your phone before bed, turn on a nighttime setting or find an app that will keep your screen dim and warm.
Seek Help When Needed
Missing some sleep here and there is fairly normal. But if you are chronically missing out on sleep or have a hard time getting to sleep every night, it may be time to see a doctor. Lack of sleep can be a serious issue, with harsh consequences for your mental and physical health. Talk to your doctor about what you think may be keeping you up at night. If it’s chronic pain, he/she may be able to prescribe medication to help or suggest other treatments that offer relief. When worry and anxiety steal your sleep, your doctor may refer you to a counselor or therapist who can help you find the relief you need to get better sleep.
Sleep problems can be a major issue for seniors. They can even make you sick. If you’re looking to get a good night’s rest, you should start by taking a careful look at your sleep routine. By making some simple changes, you can change the way you sleep and improve your health. We hope you found useful our 5 Proven Secrets to Help Seniors Get a Better Night’s Sleep.
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