A Good Night Sleep
Difficulty falling or staying asleep is a common problem. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about half of Americans report sleep difficulty at least occasionally and over 50% of men and women over the age of 65 complain of at least one chronic sleep problem. This can result in a negative impact on concentration, productivity and mood.
What can you do? There are three areas that you can control to improve your sleep patterns.
Aim for better daytime habits
- limit naps during the day to 30 minutes or less - limit caffeine and alcohol several hours prior to bedtime
- avoid smoking several hours prior to bedtime
- expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after awakening
- exercise earlier in the day to avoid stimulating the body close to bedtime
Prepare a better pre-sleep ritual
- relax for a while before going to bed
- enjoy only light snacks prior to bed time
- make a list of any concerns or tasks for the next day
- avoid "over-the-counter" sleep aids (always check with your doctor prior to starting or stopping an "over-the-counter medicine or supplement)
Tips for getting back to sleep
- avoid stimulating the brain with activities such as television - avoid exposing yourself to bright light
- focus on repetitive or mindless things using visualization or "day dreaming"
- snack on a food that contains tryptophan (causes feelings of sleepiness), such as milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, chicken, turkey, cashews, soy beans, and tuna. source: www.helpguide.org
St. Andrew's Senior Solutions helps to serve the needs of older adults and their families in the comfort of their home. Services can be available on a sliding scale based on economic need and funds available. For more information, please call (314) 726-5766 or visit them at www.standrews1.com. St Andrew's Senior Solutions is a not-for profit division of St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors, an Episcopal-Presbyterian organization serving older adults and their families since 1961.