A quality slumber is highly important for older adults, as it helps improve memory formation and concentration. It also refreshes the immune system and allows the body to repair cell damage that has occurred in the day. If you don’t sleep well, you are likely to suffer from memory issues, depression, and even daytime sleepiness.
It is normal to experience occasional sleep problems as you age, but it is important to identify the possible causes. You can also benefit from improving your sleep habits by having a healthier lifestyle, modifying your sleep environment, and addressing emotional issues.
Here’s how you can encourage better nighttime sleep:
- Don’t use electronic devices for reading or winding down. If you love to read before bedtime, be sure to read a real book and not from an electronic backlit device like an iPad. Using a light-emitting e-book can suppress the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
- Keep the bedroom dark, quiet, and comfortable. Light and noise can cause sleep problems, so it is best to eliminate light sources and block out unwanted noise. Cozy Earth added that it’s also best to invest in a quality mattress, comfortable pillows, and organic sheets for a better sleep. Experiment with different temperatures to find out which suits you best.
- Reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex. Avoid working, watching TV, and using electronic devices in your bed. Doing so will cause your brain to associate your sleeping environment with overwhelming and stimulating activities. Use the bedroom just for sleep and sex.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Winding down is important to calm you down and relax your mind. Soothing activities before bed include taking a bath, reading a book, and doing relaxation exercises like deep breathing and meditation.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time daily, including weekends. According to Harvard Medical School, this maintains the timing of the body’s internal clock, allowing you to fall asleep and wake up easily.
Don’t let insufficient sleep negatively affect your health. Try the tips mentioned above or consult a sleep expert if you experience sleep problems on a regular basis.