Along with physical changes, changes in sleeping patterns are a normal part of aging. Older adults often experience insomnia and poor sleep quality, which can cause daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes. If you’re dreaming of a better night’s sleep, follow these steps to reduce insomnia and feel well rested, no matter your age.
Adhere to a Scheduled Bedtime
As we get older, our sleep cycles change, causing the body’s internal clock to adjust to earlier bed and wakeup times. If you find yourself staying up too late, try setting a strict bedtime. Older adults require at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but many doctors also suggest seniors take a nap throughout the day to make up for sleep problems during the night.
Block out Snoring
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 59% of adults snore throughout the night, causing sleep and breathing disruptions. Snoring often worsens with age, and shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can be a symptom of a more serious condition like obstructive sleep apnea. If you are affected by snoring, talk to your doctor first. There are also many devices to help if your partner’s snoring is keeping you awake, such as earplugs or white noise machines.
Limit Caffeine Intake
If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, try limiting your caffeine intake six hours before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and can be found in coffee, soda, iced tea, chocolate, and even some over the counter medications. If you want to sleep better and stop tossing and turning, restrict your caffeine intake and stick to water before bedtime.
Exercise for Better Sleep Quality
We all know exercising is good for physical health, but did you know it could also help you get a better night’s sleep? Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise can reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and keep you snoozing longer. Exercising also decreases anxiety and depressive symptoms, which are linked to insomnia. Many retirement living homes offer fitness centers, free exercise classes and picturesque walking trails to help seniors get their daily exercise.