Many seniors complain of lack of sleep. If they do sleep at night, it is interrupted many times. When you don’t sleep well and don’t feel rested, you lack energy the next day. Your attitude toward your life also changes and you may feel your days lack meaning. The quality of your sleep has a direct relation to how well you live your life. Sleeping well means aging well.
How can seniors improve the quality of their sleep?
- The first thing you can do to improve your sleep is to make sure your bedroom is comfortable. Cooler room temperatures usually help us with better and longer rest time. Make sure your pillow is one that is suitable for the way you lay down. If you wake up in the morning with a sore neck, you’re using the wrong pillow. Keep your room dark and quiet. Since many of us get up during the night to use the bathroom, a nightlight is a good idea or keep a small flashlight in your bedside table which you can use. If you find you can’t sleep in a totally quiet environment, try using a fan or a noise machine. Many of these come with rain sounds which help us to rest more deeply.
- Wind down before trying to turn in for the night. Turn off electronic devices and televisions. Try reading something calming for a half hour or listening to quiet music. Many people swear by lavender oil and use it in their bedrooms for the relaxing feeling it induces.
Sleep disorders and chronic diseases can also keep us awake at night. You may have a sleeping disorder, like sleep apnea, that prevents you from getting a good night’s rest. With this condition, some struggle to breathe normally when they sleep, so a sleeping aid to keep airways open. If this describes you, speak with your doctor about ways you can get more sleep. Get out in the sun for a portion of each day. The sunlight regulates your melatonin and keeps your sleep cycles normal. Also, make sure to get enough exercise and interaction with others during the day.
Seniors needs their sleep just as much as those who are younger. It helps us to age better and to lead a more fulfilled life. To read more on sleep and how it affects your sense of purpose, click here.