Sleep patterns keep changing over the years as you gradually age. However, getting a full night’s sleep without any disturbance can be very challenging during old age. Sleep deprivation, also known as insomnia, can also be the result of certain medical conditions.
Whatever the case may be, insomnia can take a heavy toll on your body, physically as well as mentally. A good night’s sleep is necessary to improve your concentration and memory. The rest will also allow your body to repair damaged cells and tissues.
More importantly, sleep will help restore your immune system to help maintain overall health. Doctors recommend a minimum 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults.
The following are a few tips to help you sleep better
Have a fixed routine
Go to sleep and wake up each morning at a fixed time. One of the simplest ways to get a good night’s sleep is to have a routine and stick to it, till your body gets used to the new schedule. A routine will take time but will be worth it in the long run.
Take shorter naps during the day
Take afternoon naps that will help you feel energized and active for your evening rendezvous. Ensure that these nap times don’t exceed more than thirty minutes. Also, if you are unable to sleep in the afternoon, don’t force it.
Take warm baths
Take warm baths just before you go to sleep to help you relax and just let loose after a long day. The drop in body temperature after a warm bath will help you feel tired. When your metabolism slows down, the body is in a relaxed state.
Unwind before bed
Mostly, people have trouble falling asleep when they feel that they do not feel tired enough to take a nap. Try listening to good music or reading your favorite book an hour before you go to bed to reduce mental stress. Even if you didn’t have a particularly tiring day, do something to unwind and relax before bedtime.
Exercise during daytime
Fitness is of paramount importance, especially during old age. When you are working or keep yourself occupied, your fitness levels will be high. A good exercise routine combined with a healthy diet will also help you burn those extra calories. When your body is tired after a nice workout, sleep will come to you easily. A few light stretching exercises before bedtime will also help.
A well-balanced and nutritious diet should be maintained throughout and not just during old age. You should have meals at the right time and also in the right quantity. You can have a light snack before bedtime if you are hungry. It is also advisable to drink fewer fluids at night to avoid frequent trips to the loo. Avoid alcohol consumption, even in moderate quantities before bedtime. Once the effects of alcohol wear off, you might wake up suddenly and feel disoriented. Also, limit the intake of caffeine during the day.
Avoid sleep medications
If possible, avoid or limit the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications to induce sleep. Note that sleep medication should be the last option only if you feel there is a need for it.