Like lots of seniors, you may be going to bed earlier as you age and waking up earlier compared to your younger years.
That’s normal but it’s also important that you get the same amount of sleep as when you were younger — about seven to nine hours each night. For many people, a good night’s sleep may be challenging to come by as they age.
The challenge of getting good sleep in your older years has many reasons and causes. These include feeling sick or in physical pain that make you uncomfortable. You may take medicines that keep you awake.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you don’t get enough sleep, on the next day you may:
- Have more falls or accidents
- Feel depressed
- Be irritable
- Have memory problems or be forgetful
Older adults may struggle with insomnia, a common condition. Often they can become so stressed out about not getting to sleep or not having enough sleep, it may make it harder for them to fall asleep.
You may want to talk to a doctor about sleep aids or prescription medicine to help you sleep.
Helpful Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t get a good night’s rest. Here are 10 helpful, easy tips from the CDC so you can feel rested and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
1) Have a regular sleep schedule. A regular sleep schedule means going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Keep this schedule on the weekends and when you travel.
2) Don’t take naps late in the afternoon or in the evening. Taking naps later in the day may keep you awake at night.
3) Have a bedtime routine. Make sure you relax before you go to bed at night. Read a book or magazine, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath.
4) When you’re in your bedroom, avoid watching television, or using your computer, mobile phone, or tablet. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Alarming or unsettling shows or movies, like horror movies or lots of violence, may keep you awake.
5) Make sure your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature. It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold in your bedroom. Also, make sure it’s as quiet as possible.
6) Keep the lights low. Low lighting in the evening and as you get ready for bed help you prepare for sleep.
7) Don’t exercise within 3 hours of your bedtime. A regular exercise routine is important, but it shouldn’t be close to when you want to go to sleep.
8) Don’t eat large meals close to bedtime. Food in your stomach can keep you awake.
9) Avoid caffeine late in the day. Caffeine in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate may be a cause of keeping you awake. Some people avoid caffeine after noon.
10) Alcohol isn’t a sleep aid. It may be doing the opposite, in fact. Even small amounts of alcohol may make it harder for you to sleep well.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Regency at Augusta are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Regency at Augusta, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!
If you believe a senior living community would benefit your loved one, get in touch with us. Schedule a visit or download a brochure today!