It happens to us all, when we’re younger and full of energy we sleep like logs, but as we get older sleep eludes us, we wake often, sometimes not even to go to the loo!
So what can be done? Well the good news is lots can be done so get comfy and let Aidapt Australia improve sleeping as we get older.
What is causing me to sleep poorly?
- Poor sleep habits. Just like irregular sleeping hours, and drinking alcohol before bedtime, and falling asleep in front of the TV are no-nos.
- Aches and pains. These increase as we get older and they can keep you from sleeping well. Get medical advice regarding how best to alleviate these pains either through physio, medicine or what not, lots of things can be managed such as a frequent need to go the bathroom, arthritis, asthma, osteoporosis, bed time heartburn, menopause, and Alzheimer's can all stop you getting a good night's sleep.
- Your Medicines. Check the small print or ask your Doctor about which can interrupt your sleep.
- Lack of exercise. Not this again I hear you cry! Well look if a bit of exercise only had one benefit I wouldn't bang on about it so much, but it doesn’t just have one benefit, it has a lot of benefits so if you are too sedentary, you may never feel sleepy or you may even feel sleepy all of the time, neither is good! Aerobic exercise during the day (not before bed) can give you the nights sleep a baby would envy.
- Stress or psychological disorders. Things like bereavement or moving from a family home can cause stress, anxiety or sadness and these can also keep you awake, which somewhat cruelly can in turn cause more anxiety.
But Aidapt what can I do to improve my daytime habits for better sleep?
- Be social, get yourself out there you grumpy old bugger! Family and part-time work can keep your activity level up and prepare you for 40 winks, or even volunteer, people everywhere need volunteers or follow the mantra of every day being a school day literally and join an adult education class.
- Exercise regularly. I'm even boring myself with this one but it helps, so do it, it releases endorphins that can boost your mood and reduce stress.
- Get in to the light. Whilst obviously taking care of our skin it must be said that bright sunlight helps regulate melatonin which is essential for good sleep, try and get at least an hour outdoors a day, or if you're really fancy email our boss and pester him to bring over artificial light boxes.
- Limit coffee, booze and cigarettes. Obviously, not just because they're toxins but because they're all stimulants.
Ok so it's night time, what do I do to encourage better sleep?
- Don't read from a backlit device at night. We love eReaders, they're so handy, but it turns out they're terrible for our sleep, go back to books or turn off the back-light feature and use a soft bed side lamp.
- Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. All help you sleep, even try using a sleep mask to help block out light.
- Use your bedroom only for sleeping! It's not for working, it's not for watching TV, it's definitely not for using your computer, so stop it, or you'll come to associate the bedroom with work and not sleep.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. I know this sounds hard but it's really not, especially for the retired, just go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, even on weekends.
And that's it, our guide to helping you sleep as you age, really none of it is that difficult, just subtle changes which will hopefully make a big improvement in the quality of your sleep and life in general.