Nothing can put a dent on the day quite like not getting enough sleep. Receiving the recommended eight hours of sleep a night is one of the quintessential tips to living a healthier life, but there are many seniors who continue to struggle with achieving a quality night's rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 44 percent of seniors experience at least one or more symptoms of insomnia on two occasions of the week or more. If enduring restless nights is becoming a tiring pattern for you, here are some senior friendly tips that can help you get the sleep you need:
Increase daily activity
When it comes to improving quality of sleep, what you're doing (or not doing) throughout the day can make quite an impact at night. Helpguide.org suggests that seniors should be staying engaged in various activities throughout the day, as the busier you are, the easier you'll find it to fall asleep at night. Physical activity is an excellent resource for getting more rest. When you exercise, your body is producing more endorphins that in turn can reduce the amount of anxiety and stress that is known to keep people up. Spending at least 30 minutes a day dedicated to squeezing in some sort of workout, such as walking or swimming, may be what it takes to relax before bedtime.
Get more melatonin
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the body through the pineal gland, and is generated whenever it's dark outside. When melatonin levels in the blood rise after the sun sets, you'll begin to feel more tired. What helps regulate and maintain these melatonin-driven sleep cycles depends primarily on how much sunshine you're getting. Helpguide.org suggests that you should try and be exposed to around two hours of sunlight a day, whether it's walking around outside or keeping your blinds and curtains open to let light in.
Adjust your dietary habits
The foods and beverages you consume throughout the day can also have a direct impact on how well you sleep. For starters, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you should not go to sleep feeling excessively full or hungry, as the discomfort won't do you any favors. If you're consuming caffeinated beverages throughout the day or you're using nicotine, the stimulating effects can easily stay with you, even as you approach bedtime. While there are many people who may view alcohol as a means to help go to sleep, it is also associated with being one of the easiest ways to disrupt your quality of rest.
Stick to a schedule
One of the natural ways to enhance your sleeping routine is by sticking to a strict schedule throughout the day and night. This can mean designating a specific bedtime every night as well as waking up at the same time consistently. You can also implement other habits just before going to bed that will translate to your body that it's getting closer to bedtime. Take a warm bath an hour or two before sleeping, or put on some classical music while reading a book.
Improve your conditions
Finally, one of the more overlooked aspects to improving your quality of sleep is making your room more accommodating for resting. Your bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet, so turning the air conditioning on or turning any digital clocks away from eyesight may be necessary. Try to avoid using electronic devices that are illuminated while in the darkness of your room, as the digital light is known to mess up melatonin levels.