Getting enough sleep helps you stay healthy and alert. But many seniors don’t sleep well. If you’re always sleepy, it may be time to see a doctor. You shouldn’t wake up every day feeing tired.
Sleep and Aging
Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as young adults—7 to 9 hours each night. But seniors tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than when they were younger. Older people may nap more during the day, which can sometimes make it hard to fall asleep at night.
Try to set up a safe and restful place to sleep. Make sure you have smoke alarms on each floor of your house or apartment. Lock the outside doors before going to bed. Other ideas for a safe night’s sleep are:
Keep a telephone with emergency phone numbers by your bed.
Have a good lamp within reach that turns on easily.
Put a glass of water next to the bed in case you wake up thirsty.
Use nightlights in the bathroom and hall.
Don’t smoke, especially in bed.
Remove area rugs so you won’t trip if you get out of bed in the middle of the night.
Don’t fall asleep with a heating pad on; it may burn.
There are some tricks to help you fall asleep. You don’t really have to count sheep—but you could try counting slowly to 100. Other people find that relaxing their body puts them to sleep. You might start by telling yourself that your toes feel light as feathers and then work your way up the rest of the body saying the same words. You may drift off to sleep before getting to the top of your head.
Sleep is important to an active and engaging lifestyle. Contact Carolina SeniorCare to begin living a mindful and purposeful life.