AD | Collaborative post
Sleep is a huge part of our lives (about 33% actually)—and it should come as no surprise that sleeping well is vital to our overall mental and physical health. And yet for many of us, because of busy schedules, lack of a calm nighttime environment, or a medical condition, getting a good night’s rest is easier said than done. As we age, it’s normal for our sleep patterns to naturally adjust themselves, but getting enough sleep is still just as important as ever.
Sleep deprivation also contributes in memory loss in the old. So the more you sleep, the lesser are the chances of your not falling prey to dementia and this can save you from shelling money on Alzheimer’s care at later stages of life. If you’ve found getting enough Z’s to be more difficult as you’ve gotten older, here are some simple tips you can follow to help your body get the rest it needs.
How well you sleep at night has a lot to do with how you spend your time during the day. Engaging in more physically or mentally demanding activities while you’re awake is a great way to use up some excess energy so you’re not bouncing off the walls when it’s time to go to bed. To give your mind and body the exercise they need, try spending your day working out, volunteering in your community, taking an adult education class, gardening, or spending quality time with friends.
Get some sun:
Believe it or not, but exposing yourself to at least two hours of sunshine per day can actually make it easier to fall asleep at night! This is because sunlight can help regulate melatonin, the chemical that helps dictate your sleep-wake cycles. Keep curtains and blinds open in your home, and try to get outside to soak up some rays. Just always be sure to put on sunscreen first.
Check your mood:
When you’re stressed out, anxious or upset during the day, these feelings can sometimes be hard to let go at night. Struggling to push away your worries or obligations while lying in bed can actually make it harder to fall asleep, so try clearing your mind before you get cozy. Calming rituals such as yoga, meditation, or even reading a book can be extremely helpful in unwinding before bedtime. Or to set your mind at ease, try relaxing and talking things out with someone who makes you feel comfortable, such as a friend or family member.
Maintain healthy eating habits:
Watching what you eat and drink can have a big impact on your sleeping habits. For instance, a large meal right before bedtime is usually a bad idea, as it can often lead to indigestion, which means restless sleep. Stimulants like caffeine are also important to avoid. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your morning cup o’ joe, but be sure to cut yourself off early, as coffee’s effects tend to last for six to eight hours.
As we get older, a full night’s sleep can seem like an unattainable luxury, but never stop pursuing it! By overcoming insomnia and giving your body proper rest, you’ll be improving both your mental and physical health, as well as getting a jump start on the day ahead.