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Rest and Retirement: How to Help Older Adults Get Better Sleep at Night

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Being able to get good, quality sleep at night shouldn’t just be a dream – it should be a reality. Each and every night, millions of Americans struggle with getting enough sleep and yes, this does include older adults. Without enough sleep, we can begin to feel sluggish, fatigued, unmotivated and sometimes even a bit grouchy. One bad night can snowball into several and before you know it, your overall quality of life has been impacted. 

Here at senior living in Clinton Township, we want our residents to make the most of their golden years and truly enjoy retirement. If they aren’t getting enough sleep, though, this certainly won’t be the case. That is why we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help bolster sleep quality in seniors. Keep reading to learn more!

Tip #1: Create – and follow! – a regular sleep schedule.

While we understand that your days and schedules can fluctuate, setting a consistent sleep pattern will help you to better stay on track. This will allow for your circadian rhythm to become better synched up. Think about it this way: if on Monday, you go to bed at 9:30 p.m, then on Wednesday you don’t hit the hay until after 11 p.m., and Friday you’re out at 8:15 p.m., your body is likely going to get very confused. Choose a bedtime and do your best to abide by it, even on the weekends.

Tip #2: Avoid late afternoon naps.

If you are a senior who has been looking forward to napping once you move to senior living in Clinton Township, go right ahead! You have earned that rest. However, if you are someone who enjoys taking naps, try to do it strategically. If you are a very early riser, try to schedule your nap for either late morning or right after lunch. Napping too late in the afternoon or evening can result in you tossing and turning late into the night. 

Tip #3: Establish a bedtime routine.

Humans are creatures of habit, and the more we establish a routine, the better our bodies and minds will understand what is going on. Find a bedtime routine that works to help you relax and unwind. Does this include a hot bubble bath? What about listening to some soothing music? Or are you someone who likes to read or journal before bed? Whatever this looks like for you, that’s great! Just make sure the book isn’t a horror thriller!

Tip #4: Avoid electronics and blue light.

Phones, tablets, TVs, and computers are responsible for emitting blue light which in turn blocks melatonin, which is the natural hormone that your body creates to help you go to sleep. Not only that, but these sorts of devices can be very distracting. It is easy to lose track of time when using electronics. Plus, if you’re up watching an adrenaline pumping action flick or a chilling zombie movie, you are going to struggle falling asleep once you turn it off.

Happy senior woman using tablet in bed at night

Tip #5: No more midday caffeine breaks.

Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and sugary sodas are all known to contain high levels of caffeine. While we might grab one of these beverages to get us going at the beginning of the day, if we indulge in them too late at night, it can lead to some restless sleep. Also, be sure to avoid alcohol late at night too. While it is a depressant and can make you sleepy, you are more likely to snore, have fitful sleep, and wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the restroom.

Tip #6: Exercise at least a half hour each day.

Naturally, our bodies can only exert so much energy in a single day. If you are struggling to fall asleep at night or you find that your mind is restless, try incorporating a light workout into your daily routine. For seniors, exercise can have a huge array of health benefits, including decreasing the risk of heart disease, maintaining a healthy weight, improving mental health, and even getting better sleep at night. Even a brisk walk once a day can really go a long way! 

Tip #7: Set up the ideal sleeping conditions. 

We spend over a third of our lives asleep. That is part of the reason why it is important to invest in a good mattress, nice sheets, and comfortable pillows. Create a sleeping environment that is ideal for you! Whether you like your mattress firm or soft, or you like your room to be kept a little cold and prefer to sleep with a fan on, that’s okay. If you share a bed with a partner, make sure you talk to them to set up an arrangement that works for you both. 

Tip #8: Opt for ambient lighting.

Once again, lighting plays an integral role in helping you fall asleep at night. In the evenings, opt for soft, ambient lighting by using lamps or other low lights. Do this especially after dinner and before getting ready for bed to help your body prepare for rest. If you need a nightlight or two around the home for safety purposes, choose one that illuminates the area or space without being overly bright. There are many models available, including those that can be put on a timer or connected to a smart assistant, such as an Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Senior Living Clinton Township

Here at The Parkdale, we are a senior living community that understands just how important it is that seniors get adequate sleep. This is just one way that they can make the most of their retirement. We offer memory care, independent living, assisted living, and even respite care services. To find out more about what we offer or to schedule a tour, contact us today! We would be happy to show you around The Parkdale and answer any questions you may have. Allow our senior living in Clinton Township to be your next home away from home!

Written by The Parkdale

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