Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night? Whether you have trouble falling asleep,
staying asleep, or both, you’re not alone. National Sleep Association notes seniors frequently
struggle with insomnia. At the same time, sleep is a must for your physical and mental wellness.
Thankfully, quality sleep doesn’t have to be a daydream. There are simple lifestyle adjustments
that improve your odds of getting a good night’s rest.
First and foremost, make sure your environment is conducive to a good night’s sleep. Consider,
for example, your mattress. An old, lumpy or sagging mattress can get in the way of your sleep,
and The Spruce points out they do have a lifespan. If you haven’t replaced yours in the last
decade, chances are it’s time for an upgrade, and it pays to do some research before making
When choosing a mattress, take your personal preferences and body type into account. For
example, the Purple mattress is firm for lighter bodies, but feels softer the heavier you are. You
should also take into account your preferred sleep position and any chronic pain you experience
– consider asking a doctor what kind of mattress would suit you best if you’re not sure.
You should also make sure your room is dark and quiet – excess light and noise can reduce
your sleep quality, even if you don’t realize you’re waking up. Avoid computer and television
screens in the hour before you go to bed, and try to fall asleep without music or other sounds
playing. If there is noise outside you can’t control, consider adding a white noise machine to
your bedroom to drown it out.
Daytime Sleep Enhancers
It may surprise you to learn that some of the best things you can do to achieve a good night’s
sleep are things you’d do during the day. For example, it’s important to make sure you’re getting
regular exercise. Shoot to have moderate-intensity work out for 30 minutes every day. Exercise
works out excess adrenaline your body might have stored up due to stress or inactivity. If you
don’t work this energy out, it can come back to haunt you at bedtime.
Your diet can also make a big difference for your ability to get a good night’s rest. Make sure
you avoid caffeine during the later half of the day. As The Conversation explains, many people
find they’re more caffeine sensitive as they get older – consider cutting back on how much
caffeine you consume, or cutting it out entirely.
You should also avoid eating any foods late at night, especially heartburn-inducing foods such
as greasy, spicy, or acidic meals. Heartburn can give you a poor night’s rest, so stick to an early
dinner and, if you need it, a bland, light snack later on.
Why Sleep Quality Matters
We all know the quality of our sleep affects how energized we feel throughout the day. However
sleep quality is about more than simply waking up feeling fresh. That great energy boost is
actually a sign that our bodies spent the night working on healing and rejuvenating, while giving
our minds a much-needed break.
Physically, sleep has many positive effects on your health. Getting enough sleep on a regular
basis improves blood pressure, reduces risk of heart attack, and improves your immune system,
among other benefits. Get a good night’s sleep, and you give your body the chance to take on
whatever comes its way.
Sleep has big ramifications on your mental health as well. Regular poor sleep can increase
symptoms of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Since these disorders can also
cause sleeplessness, it’s common to get stuck in a horrible stress-poor sleep cycle that’s
incredibly difficult to get out of. If your sleeplessness gets bad enough, it can even lead to more
serious mental health issues, such as paranoia or hallucinations.
Good sleep protects your mind and body. Follow these tips, and the odds are good you’ll see
serious improvement to your sleep quality. Enjoy getting a good night’s sleep, and all that
comes with it!
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