While it is common to experience trouble sleeping at any age, many find themselves looking for ways to tackle insomnia more often as they get older.
But sleep is just as important when you are older as when you were younger. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages for 26 and 64 need 7-9 hours of sleep a night and older adults, those over 65 years of age, should strive for at least 7-8 hours.
To improve your sleep, avoid sleep detractors such as alcohol, electronics in the bedroom, and caffeine. But if you’ve already done this and are still having trouble sleeping, here are a few more to tackle insomnia.
Adhere to Sleep Rules
Too often, people lie in bed worrying about problems in their lives or even worrying about why they aren’t sleeping. While you are trying to sleep, lying in bed not sleeping can create an unhealthy association between you and your bedroom. So, if you are not able to sleep, get out of bed if you’ve been trying to sleep for over 20 minutes. When you are up, move to another area of the house and read a few pages of a book, listen to soothing music, or practice a few relaxation exercises. Then, when you begin to feel sleepy again, return to bed.
Talk to a Counselor
If you continue to find yourself tackling insomnia, talking through your troubles can help you to let go of any fears you have. These fears could be about sleep itself or you may be worries in other areas of your life that are seeping into your sleeping hours. Shifting your life in a positive ways could lead to a better night’s rest. A counselor or other mental health care provider can steer you toward healthy lifestyle, including positive thinking and maintaining consistent bedtimes and wake times.
Relaxation Techniques to Tackle Insomnia
There are exercises designed to help your body relax. For example, some find meditation helpful. Through a meditation practice, you can learn to breathe slowly and deeply. Focus on your breath and the process of inhaling and exhaling, centering your mind and allowing worries to float past. Others find progressive muscle relaxation helpful. In these instances, you tense a group of muscles in the body and then allow them to relax. Work through your body, tensing and relaxing from head to toe, a process that can relax you and prepare your body for sleep.
Healthy sleep habits are essential. Ignoring your body’s natural need to rest will only create more problems, sleep is an integral part of your overall wellbeing. If you have been searching for ways to tackle insomnia, know that there is help available. Losing sleep can impact your mental health and cause you to be more likely to fall and incur injuries.
Restful sleep habits truly can improve the quality of your life.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.