As we age, we still need the same amount of sleep as we did when we were working adults, seven to nine hours. Unfortunately, due to pain, worry, or prescription medicine keeping us awake, many of us do not get enough sleep. If this is the case, then you may find that the next day is very frustrating because you become irritable, forgetful, depressed and more likely to suffer from falls or accidents.
Tips for a good night’s sleep from the National Institute on Health:
-Follow a sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up the same time each day, even on weekends.
-Try to avoid eating large meals right before sleep.
-Don’t use technology in the bedroom. The light from televisions, computers, cell phones, and tablets makes it difficult to fall asleep.
-Control the temperature. Don’t make your bedroom too warm or too cold.
-Stay away from caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and may keep you awake.
-Exercise daily around the same time every day, but not within three hours of your bedtime.
-Avoid napping during the late afternoon, it can keep you awake at night.
-Develop a bedtime routine. By taking time to relax by reading a book, taking a warm bath or listening to soothing music before bed, you may make fall asleep easier.
Another component to restful sleep is a comfortable and safe place to doze off. Check your smoke alarms every six months to assure they are working properly, always have a list of emergency numbers by your bed along with a phone, remove area rugs so you don’t trip when getting up, and have a glass of water by your bed in case you get thirsty in the night.