Posted on Nov 22, 2019 in Senior Tips
As babies, we need an average of 16-20 hours of sleep per day. However, as we age the amount of shut-eye we require decreases significantly. It’s common knowledge that most adults need around 7-9 hours of rest, but did you know that seniors require that same amount as well? Although the amount of sleep necessary to function properly from adulthood on doesn’t change, the quality of it does. Over the span of a lifetime, the kind of sleep that we are capable of getting differs.
Seniors have a much harder time getting a good night’s rest due to a variety of reasons:
Whatever the reason is, waking up multiple times during the night or waking up too early in the morning, has a significant impact on your overall health. That’s why it is important to find methods to help you practice good sleeping habits. Here are three tips to help you get a continuously better night’s sleep this winter.
Due to the natural aging process, restful sleep is harder to get, but making a nighttime routine can help. One of the most important things you should try implementing is a bedtime. Setting a bedtime is a great practice for you because it will help you maintain good sleep habits while preventing irregular sleep patterns, which can cause a variety of health problems. However, it is crucial that you are listening to your body, so don’t fight daytime fatigue if that’s something you’ve been experiencing. If you’re tired before your “bedtime” that’s okay because nothing is permanent. It completely depends on how your mind and body feel during the day. Don’t be afraid to change the time you think you should be in bed. Sleeping is how the body refreshes so denying yourself precious hours of shuteye will only hurt you in the long run.
In addition to setting a bedtime, consider practicing calming activities like meditation before going to sleep. For seniors, strenuous activities aren’t ideal and that’s the great thing about meditation. You can do it straight from the comfort of your bed while lying or sitting down. It’s completely up to you. Some may even say that meditating while in your bed is best, especially if you plan to sleep right after. The deep breathing methods frequently used in meditation will calm your mind while helping to relax your body. This is extremely beneficial to older adults who may experience aches and pains throughout the day.
Aches and pains are common the older you get, so making sure you have a comfortable mattress suited specifically for your body’s needs is crucial. People don’t always realize just how much their mattress can affect the quality of sleep they’re getting. The longer you’ve had a bed, the more likely it is to be malformed, uneven, and uncomfortable. These can intensify any pains you feel on a daily basis making a good night’s rest seem almost impossible to achieve. Common pain areas of the body that a bad mattress can exacerbate are the back, neck, and joints. Finding a bed that offers support while also conforming to your body will help ease some of the discomfort you feel during the night.
Even if you have a newer bed you can still encounter issues. The firmness, thickness, and construction of your mattress heavily affect how well you sleep, so really analyze how your body feels in your current mattress before buying a new one. Another great tip for when you’re shopping around for a new bed is to make sure to find companies who are aware that not everyone can put together furniture on their own and offer an assemble option at checkout. Therefore, making it easy and quick for you to start getting the sleep you deserve.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating a light snack before bed. However, you need to be aware of the foods that you’re consuming because certain foods can make getting a decent night’s rest difficult. There are some obvious ones that people know to avoid, like coffee and alcohol, but there are some less than obvious foods and beverages that people don’t consider. Any products that contain large amounts of caffeine are harmful to your sleep, meaning foods like chocolate, tea, and soda can all negatively impact your rest. Instead of chocolate, have some nuts and crackers and instead of caffeinated tea, try a decaf version or some warm milk, just not too much.
Not only should you monitor what you’re consuming, but also how much of it you’re consuming. If you drink two or three cups of water before going to sleep, it only makes sense that you’ll have to get up multiple times to go to the bathroom. In addition, if you’re drinking a lot at night, it merely means you aren’t drinking enough during the day. Make sure you’re hydrated enough during the morning and afternoon so you won’t have to drink as much later on. If you’re having trouble drinking more water, carry a reusable bottle with you as you go about your day to help you increase your water intake.
No matter how old you are it’s important to get the best sleep possible. With the right techniques, you’ll be on your way to a good night’s rest in no time. If you are interested in finding an assisted living community where you can get restful sleep, be involved in daily activities and enjoy 3 daily restaurant style meals, consider landmark senior living. We have 5 different senior living communities in Massachusetts and New Mexico that offer assisted living, memory care and respite care. To learn more about Senior Living in New Mexico, contact us today.