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For Seniors: Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

 

If you toss and turn and have trouble sleeping, you are not alone. It is estimated that about 40 percent of seniors have some level of trouble with sleep. A lack of adequate sleep will impact every aspect of your life, leaving you lacking energy in the daylight hours. Getting a good night’s sleep is known to be important for your overall health.

Unfortunately, when you speak to a doctor about your problem, you may just get a prescription for a sleep medication. All sleep medications come with side effects. Finding a healthier, natural solution is always a better option.

Grab a Book and Turn off the TV

Reading a book before going to sleep can be helpful. Some studies suggest that the light emitted by a digital device can make it harder to fall asleep. Reading is quiet, peaceful, and soothing. TV may include frightening news stories that lead to anxiety. Turn off the TV and read before going to sleep – it can make a difference.

Create a Bedtime Ritual

Make going to bed a ritual, with a specific bedtime. Before getting into bed, have a warm, soothing bath (or shower), and a cup of herbal tea. Getting into the habit of performing these actions signals your body that it is time to rest.

Take a walk

Healthy exercise makes a difference in your ability to sleep. Every day, ensure you do something active – and take a long walk. It is surprising how much difference it can make in getting a good night’s sleep.

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

If you enjoy coffee or tea, the caffeine will affect your ability to fall asleep, or stay asleep. Never drink a caffeinated beverage after 12 pm – switch to decaffeinated. Alcoholic beverages may seem to be a good way to settle down for the night, but in fact, alcohol affects your inner body clock, making it harder to fall asleep, or cause you to wake up several times during the night.

Sleep Supplements Can Help

It is worth trying natural supplements to promote sleep, rather than medication. Always let your doctor know you plan on taking a specific vitamin or herbal supplement to avoid interactions. Some of the sleep supplements available work very well and are not as hard on the body as prescription medications.

Cut Back on Sugary Treats

If you enjoy a sugar treat before bed, change your routine. Sugar, along with other carbohydrates can leave you feeling wakeful, or cause you to wake up during the night. Try the old-fashioned method of a cup of warm milk before bed, yogurt, or another healthy option.

A Safer Way to Sleep

Many seniors are at risk of a fall – many of which occur in the home. If you often wake up at night for the bathroom or other reason, you are putting yourself in danger. To ensure you are safe, we advise you ensure you have an emergency medical alert device with a pendant or bracelet. Should you unexpectedly fall and injure yourself, the press of a button will send emergency services directly to your home – very important for those who live alone. Review the latest options now available, from home devices to those that travel with you.

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