Bedroom Basics for a Better Night’s Sleep
Sleep is a necessary ingredient in leading a healthy life. Sleep, is essential for optimal day-to-day functions and affects both our mental and physical health.
A third of our lives is meant to be devoted to sleep.
A good night’s sleep is especially important for the elderly
Good sleep habits improve concentration and memory function, allows the body to naturally repair itself after a day’s wear and tear, and promotes a healthy immune system.
Consequently, not sleeping well may also be extremely detrimental to an older adult’s health. Those who don’t sleep well are more likely to suffer from depression, aggravation or attention and memory problems. Inadequate sleep can also lead to serious health risks like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight management, and breast cancer in women.
As we grow older, changes in sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process. Unfortunately, with age we tend to have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep. Contrary to belief, sleep needs DO NOT DECLINE with age. Regardless of our age, sleep is just as important in our older years then when we were young.
So what is the recipe for a healthy night’s sleep?
Here are our bedroom basics to better sleep habits:
Naps during the day can disturb normal sleep patterns and encourage wakefulness
Limit stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol close to bedtime
Energizers like caffeine and nicotine are obvious no-no’s, but alcohol is notorious for initiating sleep. Alcohol may put us to bed quickly, but disrupts our sleep as the body metabolizes it and causes wakening.
Set the temp just right
A warm and cozy room is perfect for a miserable night’s rest. In fact, a low core-body temperature induces sleep. A thermostat set between 60-68 degrees is optimal for the best night’s sleep!
Don’t go to bed on a full stomach
Food can interfere with sleep. Avoid large meals close to bedtime.
Ensure natural light during the day
This is particularly important for older individuals who do not venture outside as frequently. Natural light helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
No light at bedtime!
The former being said, turn off the TV and computer screen…Close the curtains. Your brain can detect light even through your eyelids. Just a small dose of light can signal to your brain, it’s time to rise and shine. Keep the room properly dark and electronics in another room.
Stop sharing your bed with beloved furry friends
Animal lovers I know you love snuggling up with your dog, cat, etc.; however, they disrupt our sleep more than you can believe. Let your favorite pet sleep in his/her own bed – you should notice a big difference!
Associate your bed with sleep!
Use your bed for sleeping… Not watching television, reading, or working on your laptop.
Establish a regular bedtime routine
Incorporate relaxing activities like a warm shower, bubble bath, meditation or enjoy a cup of chamomile tea. Try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities as well. Don’t dwell on things or bring your problems to bed.
Quit counting sheep
It’s an old wives tale. Something as simple as counting stimulates the logical part of our brain and gets us thinking. Instead, try to imagine yourself floating in the water off a tropical island or anywhere you consider paradise.
If you can’t sleep, don’t stress.
Everyone goes through light and deep sleep cycles throughout the night. Instead of worrying, congratulate yourself instead!… for sleeping normally If you are having trouble drifting off again, get out of bed and walk into another room. This will help distract your brain from associating your bedroom with stress.
Indeed, poor sleep patterns age us and make us feel not our best.
A good night’s sleep keeps you young and healthy. Sweet dreams!
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