6 Ways Seniors Can Get Higher Quality Sleep

There’s nothing like a good night’s rest, but for some people, that can be exceedingly rare. Studies indicate that for most people, sleep patterns and quality change a lot as they age. There are a variety of reasons for it, including circadian clock changes, problems with sleep breathing, and psychological factors. As you get older, you might experience more trouble with sleeping. Here are a few methods you can use to get higher-quality sleep.

Find a Good Mattress

A softer mattress is best. If you’re looking at memory foam, some mattress professionals recommend checking the density and not going below three pounds per cubic foot. Density is correlated with mattress durability and support. Anything lower than three pounds per cubic foot will lose its durability in a shorter amount of time.

Check Out Your Room

Your bedroom should be set up to be the perfect sanctuary when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Ideally, you’ll have blinds or shades that can darken the room. Maybe a fan to help the air circulate, or even an air purifier with a HEPA filter to keep the room free of allergens and bacteria. You’ll also want to invest in comfortable sheets that keep you warm enough on cold nights and cool enough on hot nights. A noise machine can work wonders if you have trouble with house noises keeping you up at night. Remember to keep portable electronics out of your room if at all possible, as the blue light from screens has an adverse effect on the body, making it harder to fall asleep if you’ve been up scanning your phone or tablet, or watching TV.

Prepare Your Body for Sleep

If you have a hard time falling asleep when you’re in bed, there are relaxation techniques that mimic the body’s natural sleep breathing pattern and can help trigger physiological changes that put you to sleep more easily. Try deep breathing exercises and meditation to relax your body.

Calm Your Mind

For some people, anxiety about upcoming events or problems can prevent them from getting the sleep they want. According to Psych Central, one way to help relieve some of the anxiety and stress is writing down whatever is stressing you out and telling yourself that you will take care of it in the morning. This is especially effective if you write things down a couple hours before you actually go to sleep.

If you find that you can’t sleep at all, stay calm. Just get out of bed and do something that’s slightly boring but engages your mind in a different way, such as doing the dishes or cleaning something. Try engaging in a relaxing hobby and focus on other things until sleep comes.

Lastly, sometimes people lie awake at night and wonder about what might have been. If those “What if?” thoughts are plaguing your thoughts at bedtime, maybe it’s time to do something about that. Do you want to learn how to paint with oils? Take some classes or watch tutorials online. Want to earn a degree to help you land that perfect job? Choose a program from an online university and take courses at your own pace. It’s never too late to start pursuing a dream, especially if it’s important enough to keep you up at night.

Look at Your Diet

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine found that eating a large number of calories is one major factor that can adversely affect the amount of sleep a person gets. Try to eat less as the evening wears on. A large breakfast and lunch can help your body feel the fullness and satisfaction it needs, and a lighter dinner can help soothe your digestive system.

Exercise

Exercise can help your body adjust to sleep better. The benefits of exercise for sleep might not be immediate for everyone. For some people, the ability of exercise to improve sleep has been something that took time for them to experience, but the results of studies and research suggest that exercise is a hopeful supplement to finding restfulness. Try to walk more and get more regular exercise. Just moving more can make a difference. You might want to try a pedometer or a fitness tracker to help you get a handle on your physical health. These instruments can track daily steps, distance traveled, and calories burned, which can increase motivation. The devices have many different features, so check out some reviews to see which ones fit your budget and needs before you decide on one.

If you’re looking to get started but you’d like professional assistance, get in touch with In Home Senior Fitness LLC to learn more about the services we provide.

Talk to a Doctor

Because there are so many factors that influence sleep, there might come a point where your best bet is visiting a physician and getting their expert advice. It’s especially helpful when you’ve exhausted all your other options and just can’t get into a sleeping routine. Your doctor can help you move forward and see what options are best for you.

It takes time to get into a solid sleeping pattern. You’ll need to keep experimenting by continually working on a sleep routine in the evening and recognizing what works. Don’t panic when you can’t sleep. It’ll eventually come and you’ll start sleeping more deeply.

Photo credit: Pexels

Written by: Sophie Letts

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