8 Ways to Improve Sleep Quality From a Pittsburgh Retirement Community
A Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Rest for a Better Day Tomorrow
Getting a good night’s sleep can dramatically improve our mental and physical health, especially as we age. Sometimes, seniors can find it difficult to sleep at night and find themselves tossing and turning when they should be sleeping. This is common, but there are steps that you can take to improve your sleep quality. The expert team at Whitetail Springs Memory Care in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has put together 8 tips to help you or a loved one sleep better tonight.
Turn Off Your Devices
Yes, this includes the cell phone and the television. These devices have blue light in them that mimics the sun to our eyes, which prevents the production of melatonin. Melatonin is what makes us sleepy! So, if your eyes are registering that it is daytime because of the blue light, you might not be able to sleep.
Limit Caffeine and Beverages Too Close to Bedtime
We all know that caffeine is used to keep us awake, but did you know that it also causes increased urination? Limiting beverages (particularly those containing caffeine or alcohol) within 2 hours of bedtime can prevent those frequent trips to the restroom in the middle of the night and improve sleep quality.
Use Pillows to Relieve Body Pain
As we age, our muscles and joints may become achy, especially at night. Sometimes people simply do not want to lay down because it hurts, and we understand! That is why we like to keep our beds nice and soft with plenty of supportive pillows to help relieve that pain.
Consider Circadian Rhythm Lighting
Circadian Rhythm lighting is a great solution for someone who struggles with late-night wakefulness because it helps the brain to remember that it is nighttime. There are many different types of circadian rhythm lights, so we recommend consulting with your physician to find out which one is the best option.
Limit Daytime Napping
Maintaining a quality sleep cycle means most of your sleep should happen at night. Daytime naps should be kept to a minimum as much as possible and should only last for 10-20 minutes when they do occur. This will help to ensure that you or your loved one are sleepy at bedtime and will be ready for a good night’s sleep.
Exercise and Stretch During the Day
This might seem off-topic, but we promise it is not! Daytime movement can help us fall asleep faster and get higher quality sleep. Having a consistent exercise and stretching routine will release endorphins that not only make us feel happy but also help melatonin production and release once we are ready for bed.
Have a Doctor Review Medications
First, we always recommend having a doctor review you or your loved one’s medications if you notice symptoms like not sleeping well or wandering during the night. Sometimes, simply changing when medication is taken can dramatically improve sleep quality since some medications naturally keep us awake. The opposite is true as well; taking a medication that causes drowsiness in the evening may assist in regulating sleep cycles.
Develop a Consistent Routine
Once you have found a bedtime routine that works for your family, stick to it! Having a consistent routine will train the brain and the body to know when sleep is about to occur so it can prepare itself for a restful night.
It’s important to maintain a healthy sleep schedule that involves getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you or your loved one is struggling to sleep well, try these tips! If these tips are not enough or the problem persists, consult with your doctor to help you get a good night’s sleep.
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