How to Sleep Well as You Get Older
As we age, we tend to experience normal changes in the sleeping patterns. Information or advice on how to sleep well becomes extremely useful. Staying up until two in the morning might not come as easy as it once was during your teenage and young adult years. These little changes are completely normal, but not being able to stay asleep, waking up groggy, in pain, or feeling tired after sleeping for a good amount of time is not.
No matter what your age, sleep and the lack of sleep is something that can directly affect your mental and physical well-being. This is especially important as one ages because of the benefits that help concentration and memory formation, it can allow the body to repair any cell damage that has occurred throughout the day and adds some pep to the immune system which is highly helpful to prevent disease.
As we age, the normal processes our bodies go through, like producing growth hormones that require somewhat of a deep sleep, is no longer needed. This makes your body produce less melatonin, meaning you will sleep more often, but for shorter periods of time. The internal clock that you have created over your younger years is somewhat “on the fritz” so to speak. To combat this you may need to nap during the day to get the sleep you are missing during the night. Again this is completely normal as we age.
What is not normal are some of these symptoms:
- Difficulty falling asleep even when you feel tired
- Trouble falling back to sleep when you are awakened
- Lack of feeling refreshed after sleep
- Irritability or sleepy during the day
- Lack of emotional control
- Constantly relying on sleeping pills to fall asleep
- Concentration is lacking
- Difficulty staying awake if not being stimulated
These symptoms could mean you are experiencing insomnia like effects as you age. There some interesting causes that end up leading to insomnia. This can range from poor sleeping habits like falling asleep with the TV on, to disorders like restless leg syndrome. On top of issues like that one can experience insomnia because of stress and anxiety and even medications that have side effects that interfere with sleep.
Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Often times when we age we lose that sense of “doing” that our younger selves were so engaged in. Just because you are retired does not mean you cannot still try to be involved in certain activities. These activities will prepare your body for sleep.
In addition to staying active, getting outside, improving your mood, and limiting caffeine will certainly add a more positive outlook for your mental well-being. Talking to someone can alleviate stress and anxiety, and reducing the consumption of stimulants before bed can help you calm down before bed.