A good night of rest can be more difficult to achieve as we grow older. But there are some things called “sleep hygiene” that we can all practice to improve our night of sleep. Here are some of our best tips, below, on sleeping better for seniors.

Caffeine

Many of us are more sensitive to caffeine as we grow older. Caffeine is a stimulant and can interfere with sleep. It’s a good idea to limit caffeine after noon. Caffeine can be found not just in coffee, but in black tea, some soft drinks like Coca Cola, chocolate, and even things like coffee ice cream.

Routine

Have a bedtime routine that includes going to sleep at the same time every night. We can train our bodies to want sleep at a certain time and want to get up at the time every day if we are getting enough sleep.

Blue Screens

Try to avoid using your computer, tablet, and/or smartphone in the hour or two before bed. It’s possible that the blue background screen interferes with sleep. Try instead to read a book or write in a notebook or do a crossword before bed.

Fluids

While it’s important to drink during the day, limiting fluids during the last hour or two before going to sleep can help you to avoid having to get up to go to the bathroom. When we’re young, our bodies do a good job of concentrating urine, so we don’t feel the need to get up at night, but this process doesn’t work as well when we’re older.

Exercise

Exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night. Try adding a physical activity like a walk every day, early in the day, to help you sleep better at night.

Medications

If you have a big problem with sleep, consult your family doctor. There is a variety of medications commonly prescribed to help with sleep. One over-the-counter supplement that some find helpful is melatonin, but don’t take anything new without talking to your doctor first.

Sleep is important for our physical and mental health, and you want to get enough of it. Try some of our suggestions to feel more rested at night.

 

The Hamlets at Red Deer, located in Red Deer, Alberta, is at the forefront in the provision of services for those suffering from dementia in an assisted-living environment. The Hamlets at Red Deer has values based on tenets of Christianity and is committed to helping residents attain the highest physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our Red Deer community, please call us at (403) 986-1250.