Sleep is an important step to living a healthy, happy life. In fact, you might find it quite difficult to get through the day at all if you haven’t had enough sleep. This is true for anyone, but it is perhaps especially true for seniors.
This probably doesn’t come as a huge shock. After all, the amount of sleep that you need has changed as years have passed. Children need more sleep than young adults, and older adults tend to need more than young adults. You might have been able to get by on four hours of sleep in your early 20s, but that ability begins to decrease pretty rapidly.
The amount of sleep you need changes once again once you are a senior, but you also have other issues to contend with that make sleeping difficult. Let’s take a look at how you can get great sleep in your senior years.
Pay Attention to How You Feel
If you’re waking up exhausted, are you sure that you’re getting enough sleep? Some people need at least 10 hours to function, and that number can even increase as we age. If you’re setting an alarm and getting out of bed after six hours or so, you might want to reconsider. Be flexible and patient with yourself and understand that your body’s needs change as your age does. Consider letting your body dictate when you wake up and when you fall asleep (as much as possible).
Invest in a Quality Mattress
Are you waking up with aches and pains? That’s not necessarily a surprise. As we age, our bodies begin to become more susceptible to pain. Maybe you had no problem falling asleep and waking up refreshed a few years ago, but now you find that every morning you wake up with back pain that lingers throughout the day. The issue could be your mattress. Your body needs plenty of support in order to maintain optimal spine alignment and relieve pressure on your joints. Opting for a new mattress that is designed specifically to provide solutions to those problems, then, could be the missing link that allows you to rest comfortably and wake up pain-free.
Diet and Exercise Matter
The diet and exercise routines that you have as a senior can significantly impact the way that you sleep. Pay attention to what you’re eating and how you’re sleeping. You might consider keeping a journal. Is there a correlation between the kinds of food you eat and how well you sleep? Note the times that you’re eating and going to bed, too. You might find that eating a particular dish after a particular time disrupts your sleep and results in a restless night. The same can be said of exercise. Even if your mobility is limited, it’s important to stay as active as possible. You can do this in a wide variety of ways, from exercise programs designed specifically for seniors to activities okayed by your doctor to help stimulate your mind and body.
Don’t push yourself to do activities that are too much, of course. The goal here is not to hurt yourself. Instead, the idea is to eat things that give your body the fuel it needs to thrive and engage in physical activities that use that fuel productively. Doing this can often help significantly with sleep issues.
Are you ready to get some of the best sleep you’ve ever had? Follow the tips above and find the best sleep cycle for your needs!