A 2013 survey by the Better Sleep Council discovered that 48 percent of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, but less than half don’t take action to improve their sleep habits. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to one’s well-being, contributing to depression, skin aging, and weight gain. Improve senior sleep with these tips on how to get the best possible rest for outstanding senior living!
For older individuals, there’s a common misconception that sleep needs decline; research indicates that sleep needs stay relatively constant throughout adulthood. Because May is Better Sleep Month, here are four tips you and your loved ones can use to improve your sleep:
- Replace your mattress: An Oklahoma State University study discovered a new mattress can improve one’s sleep comfort levels by 70.8 percent, sleep quality by 62 percent, and back pain relief by 55 percent. Mattresses typically have a lifespan of five to seven years and excess sagging and wear can cause a number of adverse side effects to one’s health.
- Reserve the bedroom for sleep: If you watch TV or surf the web in your bedroom, your body may not have the cues to associate the room solely with sleep. Often referred to as stimulus control, reserving the bedroom for just sleep can help your body reinforce associating rest with the room instead of being in a passively awake state.
- Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to sleep problems, especially in older adults. Low impact, aerobic exercise during the day and at least three hours before bedtime can help your body find a natural resting point and assist you in falling asleep easier and faster.
- Diet: How we eat and drink can affect our sleep patterns and more often than not, it’s not for the better. Making small changes to your diet, such as limiting caffeine late in the day, keeping liquid intake low before bedtime, and avoiding big meals with spicy foods before going to bed can help. It’s important to try and not go to bed hungry either, so try a light snack prior to your bedtime.
When you improve your sleep, you improve your health and longevity. For older Americans who are working with caregivers, healthy sleep habits are especially important, so if you or a loved one is struggling to get rest, there are a multitude of resources available to assist you. If you have a question about improving senior sleep or other topics related to caregiving, contact our “Just Ask FirstLight” service today.