Many older people experience a change in their sleeping patterns. They differ from the sleep of a younger person in the following ways: The older adult experiences numerous brief arousals in the night, more daytime napping, there is less of a drop in body temperature during sleep, and they prefer earlier bedtimes and earlier wake-up.
There are all sorts of ways in which we can help ourselves to a better night’s sleep — all of them really based on good old-fashioned common sense. Mostly it is just a case of adjusting your daily routine as sleeping patterns change — and trying to limit the cat naps.
Exercise: 20 to 30 minutes at least three days a week is ideal. A brisk walk will do, but not too close to bedtime.
Limit naps: Taking long afternoon naps can interfere with night-time sleep patterns. If you need a nap, do not take longer than 30 minutes.
Get out in the fresh air: Studies show people who get adequate natural daylight tend to sleep better at night.
Create a good sleep environment: Sleep in a cool, dark, room on a comfortable, supportive, mattress.
Check medications: Some medications may cause daytime drowsiness while others may cause sleeplessness. Ask your doctor.
Don’t worry about falling asleep: Stay relaxed. The more you worry, the less you will sleep.
For expert advice on a good sleep environment contact Better Bedding, Sean Mulvoy Road. Galway, phone 091 756766.