How Seniors are Solving their Sleeping Problems
If you lay down at night but simply stare at the ceiling, there are methods available to help you fall asleep at night and stay asleep. There’s no need to wake up exhausted because you were tossing and turning all night. From making sure you stay asleep to making sure your sleep is of high quality, here are some tips for improving your time in bed.
Take Snoring Seriously
While you may not feel snoring is a problem, others in the house may feel otherwise. In addition to keeping others awake, it may be a sign of sleep apnea. If you’re feeling tired in the morning after a full night of sleep, it may be due to poor sleep quality. Apnea causes you to stop breathing for brief periods of time during sleep, leaving you tired instead of rested. Solutions to this could include a CPAP machine, which provides oxygen throughout the night.
Check Your Caffeine Levels
Are you drinking caffeine throughout the afternoon? In addition to coffee, you’ll find caffeine in soda, chocolate, and tea, making it easy to be a bit jittery at night. You may want to look into drinking decaf coffee or tea in the afternoons. Look into sodas without caffeine and limit chocolate consumption. These small steps may allow you to settle down at a faster pace when it’s time for bed.
Monitor Mental Health
Especially when you’re over the age of 65, depression and other mood disorders can cause sleep disturbances. Whether you’re not sleeping enough or sleeping too much, it’s important to speak to a doctor about treatment. Treatment for depression may include therapy as well as activities such as exercise and increased socialization. You may also find sleep medication will make it easier to unwind at night.
Turn Off the Electronics
If you associate your bed with activities other than sleep, you may find that eventually you have trouble falling asleep. Laying in bed only when it’s time to sleep can help your mind and body accomplish exactly that. Save the texting, e-mailing, and video streaming for the living room or other locations. This also reduces stress and anxiety which may be caused by viewing social media or the news before bed.
Improve Bedtime Habits
Small things such as the temperature of the room and types of clothing can influence your ability to fall and stay asleep. Consider lowering the temperature in the room by a few degrees. Cotton sheets and pajamas can help lower your body temperature just enough to allow it to relax. By combining these small steps with a consistent bedtime, you can give your body an ideal environment to rest.
Check Your Prescriptions
If you’re on prescriptions for diabetes, mood disorders, or heart disease, check the side effects to see if they could be causing sleep issues. If so, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about adjusting the dosage in order to assist with the insomnia. Other options include switching to a different medication altogether in order to avoid sleep disturbances. If you’re not sure if you have prescription drug coverage through Medicare, contact us today.
Take Care of Your Legs
If you find you have trouble laying still or that your legs kick and cramp when laying down, you may have Restless Leg Syndrome. Both RLS and a disorder called Limbic Movement Disorder are common problems in adults over 65. Treatments include reducing levels of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. It is also recommended you take a warm bath before bed and use a heating pad to soothe the legs.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Lisa Esposito, a Patient Advice reporter at U.S. News, says that “although alcohol makes you sleepy at first, it actually tends to increase insomnia. In general, when it comes to the effects of alcohol, tolerance decreases with age.”
Consider a calming chamomile tea or a small dose of melatonin before bed instead of a shot of alcohol. Both chamomile and melatonin are known to help adults fall asleep faster and stay asleep, waking up refreshed and ready to face the day.