Sleep is important at any age but becomes even more important as we age due to the health benefits it provides. Proper sleep helps the brain function and is good for your mental well-being. It helps improve cognitive functions and enhances mood. Sleep is also important for our bodies due to processes like muscle growth and protein synthesis that happen while we sleep. Here are a few tips for how you can get a better night’s sleep tonight:
This might seem like an obvious step to take in order to fall asleep, but there are ways you can help make sure you’re tired when it’s time to turn in. Don’t nap during the day, and if you must nap, then do it early enough and not for too long. Exercise to the extent you are able in order to increase your heart rate and tire your muscles. And remember those days when you studied all day for a big test and felt mentally drained? Stimulating your brain throughout the day can help make you tired at night.
Make your bedroom your sanctuary.
In order to fall asleep as quickly as you can, your bedroom should be a place free of things that stimulate your mind or could cause stress. Items like a computer, tablet, phone, and TV produce blue light that can reduce melatonin production and decrease sleepiness. Avoid other stressors in your bedroom, too, such as paying bills or doing paperwork.
Reducing your liquid intake in the evening can help avoid the urge to have to get up and go during the night. If you have to take medicine before bed, take it with just a little water and don’t drink too much before or after that.
Digestive activity can wake you up and keep you from reaching the deepest cycles of sleep your body needs. Avoid eating too much late in the evening, and if you do need that snack before bed, consider foods that can actually help promote sleep, such as turkey, almonds, walnuts, or kiwi.
Do something boring
Boring and mundane tasks that don’t stimulate your brain can help drain your body of energy. Find a boring task that helps reduce stress and anxiety and induce sleep. Coloring books, folding laundry, or doing that required reading for school or work might do the trick.
Consider a new bed
If you have consistent trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it might be time to consider a new bed or mattress. Proper support and comfort are key to a good night’s slumber. Pillows and bedding also play an important role in supporting your neck and back and maintaining a comfortable body temperature.
The LECOM Health Institute for Successful Aging provides a comprehensive approach to wellness, built on care, compassion, and community. Care for every stage of your life—compassion for your needs. And a community spirit that inspires us to bring better health to all of our neighbors. Welcome to a health system focused on you