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For many older folks, getting a good night’s sleep is often pretty hard. Having trouble falling asleep and then awaken after only a few hours of sleep are common complaints amongst senior citizens. This causes overwhelming fatigue during daytime so much so that they cannot drive or take part in other normal activities.
As sleep is important for physical and emotional health whether one is young or older, we share 11 simple tips for a better sleep experience :
1. Exercise. 20 to 30 minutes at least three days a week is ideal-but not too close to bedtime.
2. Limit Naps. Taking long afternoon naps can interfere with nightime sleep patterns. If you need a nap, don’t sleep longer than 30 minutes.
3. Take A Walk. Studies show people who get adequate natural daylight tend to sleep better at night.
4. Create A Good Sleep Environment. Sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room on a comfortable, supportive mattress.
5. Check Medications. Some medications may cause daytime drowsiness while others may cause sleeplessness. Seek your regular/family doctor’s advice.
6. Don’t Worry About Falling Asleep. Stay relaxed. The more you worry, the worse you’ll sleep.
7. Avoid Caffeine in the Evening. Stimulants such as coffee, tea, chocolates and soda drinks make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
8. Keep Regular Hours. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Sticking to a schedule helps your biological clock in check.
9. Watch What You Drink. Limit drinking liquids a few hours before bedtime. Drinking alcohol before bed makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
10. Don’t Go To Bed Stuffed or Starved. A stomach that is either too full or too empty may cause physical discomfort, making it difficult to sleep through the night.
11. Develop A Sleep Ritual. Transition to sleep is easier by doing the same things each night just before bed.
The above tips are all good but the one thing we need to also address next (and often overlooked), is, do you need a new mattress?
How long a mattress lasts depends on its quality and care. The performance of a poor quality mattress can deteriorate quickly, while top quality mattress can be expected to perform well for several years. Generally, you should carefully evaluate the comfort of your mattress after eight to ten years of nightly use.
We suggest conducting a comfort comparison test at your local mattress retailer. Try taking off your shoes and lying down on the mattress to find out how it really feels. And, test your current mattress with the following ‘checks’ :
If your answers are all YES for the above checks/questions, then you will most probably need a new mattress.
1. Comfort. A mattress doesn’t have to be as hard as a board to be good for you. You’ll sleep best in a bed that offers you superior comfort as well as good support. Trust your body to tell which bed feels best.
2. Space. Select a mattress that gives you enough room for easy, free movement. Couples should have a queen or king size mattress to ensure both individuals have enough space to feel comfortable.
3. Sets. Matching mattresses and foundations are designed to work together to enhance comfort and support. The foundation acts as a giant shock absorber, taking a lot of the wear and tear of nightly use.
4. Value. Shop for the best value, not the lowest price. Remember that “Bargain Mattress” is really not a compromise to getting a good night’s sleep. Buying the best you can afford is a healthy investment in yourself!