Expert Tips To Help Seniors Sleep Better


Is it nearly impossible lately to get a good night’s sleep? While you might find quality sleep more challenging at certain times, you can increase your likelihood of sleeping well by adjusting a few habits or lifestyle choices. While not every approach will work for everyone, you can find something that does work for you and adjust it as needed.


Why Do Seniors Have Trouble Sleeping?

Seniors aren’t the only ones who have trouble sleeping. Adults of any age can struggle to get a full night’s sleep. Without proper sleeping habits, you can feel groggy in the morning, have less energy to do what you love during the day, and even experience physical health complications like headaches.


Sleeping can be elusive for many of us. Anxiety and depression, for example, often come with sleep disruptions. For those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, circadian rhythms are often disrupted, leading to shortened sleep cycles. Chronic pain can also contribute to sleep challenges, as can the need to go to the restroom multiple times throughout the night.


6 Ways Seniors Can Get a Better Nights Rest


Natural Sleep Remedies for Seniors

Some steps you can take can increase the likelihood of falling asleep easily and staying asleep longer. Try any of these tips one at a time, for a few weeks, before adding another tip to your routine. This way, you can adjust your habits to maximize your sleep with your customized plan.


Develop a consistent bedtime.

Natural sleep remedies for seniors aren’t always medications or supplements. Perhaps the best first step to better sleep hygiene is setting a consistent bedtime for yourself. What time should seniors go to bed? It depends on your lifestyle. If you’re naturally an early riser, you might find going to bed earlier suits you well. Night owls can stay up later. The key is consistency. 


Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, sticking with the same bedtime as often as possible. A consistent wake time furthers your success.


Take time to wind down.

For most of us, hopping right into bed after a busy day does not mean sleep will come quickly. Your body needs to adjust, winding down after a day of activities and opportunities. Allow your body this time by setting up a predictable wind-down routine you do each evening. This routine will cue your body that it’s time to get ready to sleep.


You don’t have to spend hours getting ready for bed. Instead, choose a few nighttime tasks you do anyway and perform them around the same time and in the same order. You might choose to brush your teeth, write in your gratitude journal, and put on pajamas before getting into bed. Or, you might leave your favorite face moisturizer on the nightstand and put that on before reading for a few chapters. 


Darken up your space.

Start by shutting off the lights if you’re wondering how to help seniors sleep better. While it is safe to have a few night lights plugged in to illuminate your way if you need to get up in the middle of the night, be sure the rest of your room is dark. Turn off the television and keep any alarm clock display as dark as possible. Try a silk sleep mask if you’re still looking for more darkness.


Turn off the screens.

Excellent advice for anyone, not just older adults, is to keep screens away from bedtime. Put your phone down at least an hour before bedtime. If it is safe, keep the phone out of your bedroom entirely, leaving it to charge overnight somewhere else in the home. You’ll sleep better because fewer disruptions, alerts, and alarms exist.


Resist the afternoon nap.

The biggest obstacle to how to help seniors sleep better is the afternoon nap. While a nap occasionally is okay, getting into a routine can wreak havoc on your body’s natural sleep rhythm. Instead of napping for an hour or so in the afternoon, try to walk around the neighborhood or do another physical activity. Your body will stay awake and will be ready to sleep at night.


Work with your doctor to review medications.

Finally, you might take prescriptions or over-the-counter medications that can make sleep more elusive. Speak with your physician about your sleep concerns and see if they recommend adjusting medication timing or dosage.


A good night’s sleep is within your reach. But, you might have to find the best routine that makes it easier to get. Sweet dreams!


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