In recent years, we’ve been hearing more and more about the effects of modern Americans’ lack of adequate sleep. Despite experts’ recommendations that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, 35% of adults report regularly sleeping less than seven hours (according to the National Sleep Foundation). No matter your age, getting enough sleep is extremely important, but there are reasons that getting adequate sleep is crucial for seniors. If you’re not getting enough sleep, here are some tips and tricks you can start trying out tonight:
Maintain a routine.
A good sleep routine consists not only of getting adequate sleep every night, but also maintaining regular good habits around your sleep schedule. Experts recommend:
- Going to sleep and waking up at the same times every day and night, seven days a week.
- Using your bed for sleep only. Don’t watch TV, read, or use electronic devices in bed. If you find yourself tossing and turning, get up and read at your desk or on the couch until you feel ready to fall asleep.
- Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants in the hours preceding bedtime.
- Engaging in calming activities every night before bed. Meditation, a warm bath, or some light reading can do wonders.
Napping is one of the most effective ways to throw off your sleep schedule. If napping is crucial to your productiveness and happiness, as it is for many people, keep your naps brief (around 20 minutes), rare (as in only once a day), and consistent.
Exercise can give you an energy boost, which is why many experts recommend exercising before 2PM every day. As that boost naturally wears off throughout the day, it can help you fall asleep on time and maintain your biological clock. Plus, you get all the other benefits of regular exercise.
Maintain a calming environment.
Essential oils, calming pillow sprays, and peaceful music/sounds are great for creating an environment that’s conducive to sleep. Try typing something like “sleep music” into the search bar on a streaming channel, or purchase a dedicated sound machine with calming sounds. Use an essential oil diffuser to help create a calming environment. Many people say that lavender and orange essential oils help them relax.
Talk to your doctor.
If you’re consistently having trouble sleeping, you may have a serious condition that requires outside help. Your doctor can help get to the bottom of your issue and possibly provide things to treat sleep conditions (such as the continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP sleep apnea machine).
At Village Park Senior Living, we offer various ways for seniors to maintain and improve their health, as well as a multitude of social activities and amenities. If you’re interested in learning more about assisted living, independent living, memory care, or any of the many programs and activities we offer, please contact Village Park Senior Living for more information. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for updates and to check back soon for a new blog.