Seniors often find that they need less sleep as they age, but too little sleep is good for no one. If you or an older adult in your life is struggling to get enough decent slumber each week, it’s vital to implement some strategies to help sleepy time come more quickly and last longer. Read on for some solutions you can try over the coming months.
Upgrade Your Mattress and Pillow
Start by ensuring you have a quality mattress to fall asleep on each night. The right mattress will support your body effectively and help you feel comfortable enough to get to and stay asleep. As we age, it’s increasingly common for us to have various aches, pains, and niggles, such as back, neck, hip, or shoulder pain, or even arthritis, all of which are exacerbated by the wrong mattress. As such, if you haven’t upgraded your bed for many years, it’s time to do so now.
You can find many excellent affordable mattress options online and in-store, such as latex, innerspring, memory foam, and hybrid products. Do your research before making a purchase to know the best style for how you sleep (e.g., side, back, or stomach) and what suits your particular type of ailments, if applicable. Plus, consider how different material types can affect heat during the night.
If you buy online where you can’t try the mattress before making a purchase, pick out an item from a retailer that offers free returns if you don’t like the mattress. Many brick-and-mortar and eCommerce stores offer trial periods of mattresses these days, often for 30 or 60 days, which is very helpful.
Also, ensure you’re lying on a pillow that’s the right size, style, and material for your needs. Again, if you have the wrong product or one that’s too old and worn out, you won’t get the support you need to rest easy. Keep in mind that pillows typically need replacing every year or two.
Use Quality Linen and a Weighted Blanket
Another element related to your bed is the linen you use on it. You’re likely to find sleep a struggle if you try to snuggle into sheets or blankets that scratch your skin due to a lack of softness or make it feel itchy because of something in the materials. You might like to try some more natural yet hard-wearing fabrics such as organic cotton or bamboo blends. Choose bed linen that’s soft to the touch and, if you have asthma or other respiratory issues or allergies, as breathable as possible.
A weighted blanket often helps people to rest soundly, too. These heavy items use “pressure therapy” and are designed to help you feel held or swaddled closely and reduce tension as a result.
Declutter and Remove Technology
Do you find that you can’t get to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep because your brain is constantly whirring, thinking about tasks on your to-do list or other elements of your life? If so, you may be too overstimulated, especially by the things in your room that you look at when trying to switch off.
Anyone with a cluttered bedroom that reminds them of tasks that need doing, such as a pile of clothes that need washing or ironing, is advised to spend time removing or reorganizing as many items as possible. Decluttering your bedroom and giving everything a place will make your room feel calmer and more peaceful, leading to better and longer slumber.
Plus, it’s wise to remove technology from your bedroom wherever possible. For instance, while many people have a TV in their bedroom, this device can be too distracting when you need to turn your mind off and go to sleep, and the blue light it emits can signal your brain to stay awake rather than chill out. The same goes for laptops, tablets, smartphones, and some stereos. Streamline your room so there’s less to look at, and you don’t get any wrong signals messing up your sleep.
Other ways to get a better night’s rest include:
- Ensuring there are blackout blinds on the windows so the light doesn’t wake you up too early in the morning
- Block out noise by double glazing your bedroom windows or putting new windows in so that aren’t any gaps between the frame and the glass that let sounds in
- Get the temperature in the room just right via fans, HVAC, or other heating and cooling systems
- Keep pets out of the room so they don’t wake you up at inopportune times or leave too much hair in or around your bed that could exacerbate allergies
- Choose a calming color palette for the room
- Utilize soothing scents by way of candles and diffusers
Follow these steps to make your bedroom as suitable for rest and sleep as possible, and you should find that getting the slumber you require is much easier than before.