It is always true that getting enough sleep keeps you stay healthy and alert.
But many older people tend to not sleep well. There are many reasons for these. One example is when women who are in menopause are experiencing some sleeping issues.
If you are always sleepy or even find it hard to get enough sleep at night, it is time to consult a doctor. Waking up every day feeling restless and tired is a sign that you are not getting enough sleep.
How long do you need to sleep?
Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults – 7 to 9 hours each night. But in some situations, what you consider a good amount of sleep can be different from other individuals.
There are cases where in you wouldn’t need the same hours of sleep when you are younger. The gauge is when you always feel tired and restless and finding it hard to sleep, then you must be having some issues regarding sleep.
If this is the case, you may need to consult a doctor. He can check if there are issues and factors which were interfering with your sleep.
What are some causes of sleep problems in aging people?
Sickness – Illnesses and some conditions may cause sleep deprivation. Ailments like arthritis, sleep apnea, and restless legs’ syndrome can all make sleep a challenge. These situations should be treated so you can have a good night sleep.
Medications you are taking – There are medicines that can keep you awake at night. Make sure your doctor knows about all the medications you are taking so he can either change it to a different one or just change the time when you are taking them.
Change in conditions of life – The older you get, the more likely you are to have some major transitions in life. Things like illness, financial situations, or death of a loved one can cause so much stress, and these can make it hard to sleep. Physiological change is also a factor – like being in menopausal stage of your life. Understanding these changes and probably talking about these changes to your family may be helpful.
Retirement – There are some older people who are retired and having some sleeping issues. This may be because of so many down times during the day that they find it hard when it is time to sleep at night. Changing the routine will be helpful.
Here are some tips to develop healthy habits at bedtime:
(1) Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or when traveling.
(2) Develop a bedtime routine. Take time to calm down and relax before bedtime each night. Read a book or listen to a soothing music – whatever helps you unwind.
(3) Take a warm bath. When you get out of the tub, the drop in the body temperature may help you feel tired. This feeling can help you relax and more ready to go to bed.
(4) Make your bedroom a sleeping zone. Keep it at a comfortable temperature and as quiet as possible. If you`re still awake 20 minutes after you went to your bed, get up. Get back to bed only when you feel sleepy enough. Train your mind that the bed is a place for sleeping only.
(5) Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening. Naps may keep you awake at night.
(6) Exercise regularly. But make sure not to exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime.
(7) Get some sun. Try to make an effort to get outside in the sunlight each day. This will let your body know when it is time to be awake.
(8) Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime. These meals can keep you awake.
(9) Drink fewer fluids at night or before you go to bed. Trips to the bathroom break up your sleep.
(10) Do not drink alcohol close to bedtime. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep. It can wake you up in the middle of the night when the effects of the booze have worn off.
(11) Stay away from caffeine late in the day. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, soda and chocolate can keep you awake.
So as we continue to live a healthier life even as we age, we should always remember the importance of having a good quality sleep.
Sleep makes us feel better. It is the most important part of having a healthy lifestyle which benefits our body, mind, functions, and effectiveness.
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