Having a hard time getting a good night’s sleep? Read on for some useful tips.
Aging can affect the quality of our sleep. You may wake up more often and have a less consistent sleep pattern than you did when you were younger. You can take steps to overcome these issues.
As you age, you may find yourself waking up throughout the night. And you may wonder, “Is this a natural part of aging, or is something wrong?” Rest assured that tossing and turning is nothing to be alarmed about. One of the most common and pronounced sleep changes that come with aging is waking up more frequently. The most likely cause is some type of physical discomfort, such as the need to use the bathroom or reposition an achy joint.
Luckily, older people are generally able to fall back asleep just as quickly as younger people do. Plus, most age-dependent changes in sleep occur before age 60, including the time it takes to fall asleep, which doesn’t increase much later in life. Other changes that are part of normal aging include getting less sleep overall and spending less time in the rapid eye movement (REM) cycle — the dream phase of sleep. These changes can vary quite a bit between individuals, and in general they affect men more than women.
Getting older isn’t necessarily a sentence to restless sleep for the rest of your life. While you may not be able to change the way your natural sleep rhythms and tendencies have shifted, you can try many simple techniques to limit disruptors and improve your quality of sleep.
- Consulting your doctor with your inability to sleep well, your doctor would then review your current medications and may consider changing few or even adding few medications so as to help you have your much needed quality sleep.
- Stop drinking fluids within two hours of bedtime to minimize trips to the bathroom.
- Speak to your doctor if your chronic pain is the reason which keeps you awake in the night, he can give you better pain killers to ease your pain.
- Keep your bedroom dark and cozy as possible since bright lights affect the body’s natural sleep cycles, hence switch off televisions, computer screens and ofcourse your mobile devices.
- Do not drink coffee for at least six hours before bed as it can directly have affects on your ability to sleep soundly.
- Avoid alcohol near bedtime — alcohol may help you fall asleep, but once it wears off, it makes you more likely to wake up in the night.
- To maintain a quality sleep cycle, limit daytime napping to just 10 to 20 minutes. If you find that daytime naps make you less sleepy at bedtime, avoid napping altogether.
Traditional Indian remedies:
Traditional Indian remedies for sleep can help people who experience lack of sleep or poor sleeping patterns. Try sipping some tulsi and coriander tea, or some warm milk with cardamom. For lack of sleep occurring in the middle of the night, you can try rubbing your head and feet with warm sesame oil before bed, or enjoying a bath infused with fennel, orange, and tulsi oil.
Bringing changes around you
There are simple things you can do around the house to prepare for bed and a good night’s sleep. Switch your computer off and the TV in the evening, because electronic devises are known to disturb our sleep/wake cycle. Evening should be a time for relaxing, not working, distractions. At the least, keep work-related material out of the bedroom so the room maintains its sanctuary function. Instead of watching television before bed or even worse, in bed, pick up a good book.
By cultivating a healthy mind and nurturing a positive outlook, health comes back into balance. A few minutes of meditation can help sleeplessness of all types. Yoga postures such as Sarvangasana (Only to be performed under expert guidance) may be helpful, and so can yoga nidra practices sooth anxiety and help induce calm.
It’s important that you aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you are experiencing poor quality sleep despite taking the above steps, or you are tired or sleepy on most days, we suggest you to speak to your doctor, he will help you.