By Krista Harper
The older you are, the less likely you are to enjoy quality sleep. Sleeping problems are very common among older adults, and people over the age of 70 often experience frequent sleep disturbances due to medications, chronic pain, a need to urinate, and more.
There are several things seniors and the elderly can try to achieve better sleep naturally. Here are a few tips that can help you fall asleep and get more quality rest during the night.
Take CBD Oil
CBD oil is becoming all the rage thanks to its ability to deliver marijuana's soothing benefits but without the high. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a chemical in the marijuana and hemp plants that may carry several health benefits. Older people may want to try taking CBD oil supplements to help them sleep better. Although research about CBD is still scant, one study found that taking it regularly helped produce more consistent sleep.
Many people also swear by CBD oil as a pain reliever, which is why it may be helpful to seniors. It's also available in several different forms, from gummy candies to capsules to oil that can be dispensed directly into the mouth or in a beverage. Experiment to find the flavor and format that works for you.
Elders who have a hard time falling asleep may want to try practicing yoga before bedtime. A study of long-term yoga practice in adults in their mid-60s and older found that the group experienced less sleep disturbances and decreased dependence upon prescribed sleep aids compared to another group that did not practice yoga.
Yoga also limbers up muscles and can lead to decreased pain while sleeping and upon awakening. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression as well.
Upgrade to a New Mattress
No matter what age you are, nothing can zap sleep faster than an old, saggy mattress. if your mattress is at least eight years old and you find yourself tossing and turning, waking up with sore spots, or that your allergies kick up when you get into bed, you probably need a new mattress.
The best mattresses for seniors offer the right amount of firmness, temperature control, and are neither too high or too low from the floor.
Develop a Bedtime Routine
Establishing a bedtime routine an hour or two before getting under the covers helps wind down your mind and prepares your body for slumber. During this time you can have a healthy snack that encourages drowsiness (milk and turkey are two good choices, as both contain tryptophan), meditate, or write in a journal. Reading is very beneficial to seniors and can help you fall asleep as well.
Keeping your bedroom at the right temperature so that you don't feel too hot or cold will help you fall asleep faster. Avoid drinking or eating any foods with caffeine after the early afternoon so they can't interfere with sleep.
Welcoming the Sandman in Your Senior Years
Not getting sufficient sleep can be frustrating at any age. Try one or more of the tips above to help fall asleep faster and enjoy more consistent sleep throughout the night.
Ella Stewart Care provides quality elder care for our clients so they can continue to live independently in their homes. If you or a loved one could use help with aging in place, contact us today.