If you’re an older adult who finds yourself struggling to get a good night’s rest – whether it’s falling or staying asleep – you may be looking for a solution to help.
Consider the advantages of sleep therapy if you haven’t yet. There are several options available to help you get the healthy slumber that your body and mind needs.
The inability to fall or stay asleep is a disorder known as insomnia. It can be a short or long-term problem or appear intermittently. You can also experience primary or secondary insomnia.
Primary insomnia is when your sleep problems aren’t linked to any other health conditions.
Secondary insomnia refers to trouble sleeping that results from a health condition, substance use, pain, or medication.
The following are some common causes that may be interrupting your sleep:
Sleep is imperative to your health and you need to regularly get the right amount. The good news is that there are suggestions or treatments you can try.
The following is a list of tips that might help if you’re battling with insomnia.
Although many people use the weekends to catch up from the nights when sleep was short-changed, keeping a regular schedule helps train your body to go to sleep and wake up at the same time.
The effects of caffeine can last longer than you may have realized, up to 24 hours in some cases, so figure out your response. Also, be aware of how medications can affect your sleep.
While you may believe that taking a nap will help you with lost sleep, it can also have the opposite effect and interrupt your regular nighttime rest.
Keeping active can improve your ability to relax and get quality sleep. However, it also can be stimulating so finish any exercises at least three hours before you plan to sleep.
For many people, the bedroom is now where they check email, catch up on social media, or watch their favorite videos. But bright screens stimulate the brain and can make it harder to sleep.
Having food or drink right before it’s time to go to bed can stimulate your digestive system and bladder – making it difficult to sleep or can cause you to wake up during the night.
It’s difficult to rest if you worry about the day’s events or what may come tomorrow while in bed. Schedule a time to review any concerns before you get into bed, which can help reduce your stress.
Music can help you fall asleep but it needs to be a certain kind. Find relaxing music with a rhythm of about 60 beats a minute. Instrumentals without words often work better but also avoid songs that evoke a strong memory or emotional response.
Another idea you may want to consider is therapy that helps you identify and replace thoughts or behaviors so that you can sleep better. There are a number of techniques to try:
This might include ways to promote sleep, such as having a consistent bed and wake-up time, avoiding naps and leaving the bedroom if you don’t go to sleep within 20 minutes.
Remaining in bed awake can become a habit that interrupts going to sleep. Limiting the time you spend in bed also helps you become more tired for the next night.
Change habits that may influence your ability to sleep, such as not getting enough exercise or exploring ways to wind down before bedtime.
Create a more comfortable bedroom to promote better sleep. Consider these ideas – keeping your room quiet, dark and cool, removing any electronics, and not having a clock in view.
This technique encourages finding ways to relax and calm your body and mind. You might try meditating, thinking of calming imagery, or muscle relaxation exercises.
This may be the opposite of what you’ve been trying, but when you stop pushing yourself to fall asleep, you may relax more, feel less anxious and find yourself drifting off.
This method allows you to become aware of your heart rate and muscle tension and how you can adjust them, helping you to identify patterns that affect your sleep.
Source: Mayo Clinic
We understand the importance of sleep for both your physical and emotional health and hope you’ll find these suggestions helpful.
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