NJ Senior Health
10 Sleep Tips for Seniors
Many people have trouble falling asleep because of poor sleep hygiene practices. Sleep hygiene means the personal habits and environmental factors that affect your sleep.
1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Your body gets used to a sleep pattern. Even if you are retired, try to get up at the same time each day, weekends included.
2. Do not take naps. Napping can interfere with sleep. If you must take a nap, limit it to 30 to 45 minutes and do it early in the day.
3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and spicy or sugary foods four to six hours before bedtime. These foods and beverages may stimulate you, making it harder to fall or stay asleep.
4. Don’t eat big meals or drink late at night. A large meal may cause indigestion, which could interfere with sleep. If you drink close to bedtime, you may need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
5. Do not exercise within three hours of bedtime. Regular exercise is great, but doing it close to bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep.
6. Have a light snack close to bedtime. Try warm milk or a banana.
7. Relax before bed. Practice deep breathing exercises, take a warm bath or do other activities that help you unwind before bedtime.
8. Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, go to another room and do something else until you feel tired. Do this if you wake up in the middle of the night, too. Let your body associate the bed with sleeping and sex only. Keep computers, televisions and other distractions out of the bedroom.
9. Invest in a good mattress and pillows. Your comfort is a top priority for good sleep.
10. Make sure your room is dark, quiet and cool. Sleeping may be hard if your bedroom is too hot, noisy or bright.
Posted by: Frank Esposito, VP Expert Home Care. New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional, dependable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.