I Really Need A Good Night's Rest!

Older couple sleeping

Older couple sleeping

Restful sleep is very important to our quality of life and health. But as we age, we experience changes to our sleeping patterns and we tend to spend less time in deep sleep. Older adults need just as much sleep as a younger adult, 7 to 9 hours a night. Some older adults do not get the amount of quality sleep that they need. Disrupted sleep and waking up tired every morning is not a normal part of the aging process. If you find it challenging to get a restful night’s sleep, some of the following tips can help you:


1. Stick to a bedtime schedule.

Go to sleep and wake up the same time every day. If you can go without napping during the day, that could help with getting to sleep at night.

2. Have a comfortable bed and pillow. 

Bed and pillows (Source: mwbnote)

Bed and pillows (Source: mwbnote)

3. Develop a routine that relaxes you before bedtime.

Maybe read a book, listen to music, have a warm bath, play a board game. Some people engage in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, etc.

4 Elderly people playing cards (Source: elderlycaredecisions)

4 Elderly people playing cards (Source: elderlycaredecisions)

4. Limit your caffeine (found in tea, coffee, hot chocolate) and alcohol intake

Especially in the late afternoon and evening, since they can interfere with your sleep pattern.

Cup of black coffee and book (Source: nsacs)

Cup of black coffee and book (Source: nsacs)

5. Drink most of your beverages early in the evening to avoid waking up to go to the bathroom during the night.

Coffee, ice tea and cold water (Source: garciastudio)

Coffee, ice tea and cold water (Source: garciastudio)

6. Watch the amount of food you eat at night.

Heavy meals before bedtime can keep you awake.

Spaghetti bolognese (Source: super-recipes)

Spaghetti bolognese (Source: super-recipes)

7. Being physically active during the day regularly can help promote restful sleep.

Remember not to exercise too close to your bedtime though.

2 people exercising (Source: washingtonian)

2 people exercising (Source: washingtonian)

8. Make sure your room is dark, quiet and cool.

Light switch with 'OFF' (Source: timeinc)

Light switch with 'OFF' (Source: timeinc)

9. If you find yourself awake in bed for a while, get out of bed and do something quiet and relaxing - read, listen to music. 

Man reading book in bed (Source: huffpost)

Man reading book in bed (Source: huffpost)

10. Limit screen time before going to sleep.

This includes TV, phones, tablets, and computers. The type of light emitted from the screens stimulates you and keeps you awake.

Older couple watching television (Source: idiva)

Older couple watching television (Source: idiva)

11. If you continue to have problems with having restful sleeps, visit your doctor.