A good night’s sleep makes a world of difference to the quality of waking hours. Unfortunately many seniors experience frequent bouts of insomnia. While it might seem like simply a matter a chance, there are daytime habits that make sound sleep a more likely reality. Read on for some great ideas to improve your days and nights from Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire.
Movement does wonders for the body. It can increase energy levels while awake, and also fend off depression. Not only that, but it can help improve nighttime sleeping quality as well. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found an association between physical activity and sleep in a research effort conducted on a representative sampling of American adults. There is a wide range of exercise options available. Check with your physician to determine the type of exercise best for you or your loved one.
It is important to know what to eat and drink and what to avoid eating and drinking to give yourself the best chance for a restful nighttime slumber. While it is common knowledge to avoid caffeine within close proximity to bedtime, it may be puzzling to know what to reach for instead. Instead of having chocolate, coffee, or tea before bed, try milk, bananas, and eggs as good bedtime choices. These are also good options since they are light snacks rather than heavy meals, which can also disrupt sleep patterns.
During the day, examine the sleeping environment. Are there cell phones, clocks, or watches near the bed? Sometimes the anxiety of insomnia causes frequent time checks, which only make the situation worse. Perhaps television viewing can be replaced by reading a book. Make it a habit to evaluate the sleeping area and make any changes necessary. Even a change such as installing blackout blinds can make a big difference. Light exposure plays a big part in waking and sleeping. In order to fend off daytime drowsiness, which can negatively impact evening sleep, open the blinds and curtains immediately upon waking. If possible, also aim for some natural sun exposure during the day. Close all blinds and curtains and make the bedroom as quiet and dark as possible to signify sleeping time.
It is important to establish a routine for waking and sleeping, and to stick with it. Try to keep this routine the same every day of the week. Also set a medication routine and always take medications at the same time each day. Some medications can interfere with sleep, so it is important to read all labels thoroughly and speak with your physician. The AARP says that regular routines help to set biological rhythms of waking and sleeping.
Don’t allow sleep problems to disrupt your days. Rest assured that daytime habits really can have a positive impact on nighttime sleep quality. If nighttime waking still occurs, try to remain relaxed and acknowledge that sleep will return. Keeping a journal may also prove helpful in pinpointing what daytime habits are most effective in achieving quality sleep, and even to release stressful feelings during the night.
Learn more about promoting health and wellness from the friendly staff at Home Care Assistance. Our at-home caregivers in New Hampshire are available to help with everything from nutritious meal preparation and mobility assistance to emotional support and companionship, helping seniors maintain emotional, physical, and mental health. All of our care services are available on an as-needed or live-in basis and customized to fit each client’s unique needs. Call us today at (603) 471-3004 to schedule a free in-home consultation.