Trouble sleeping, you’re not alone! According to studies, almost 50% of older adults experience insomnia, which can drastically impact their physical and mental well-being.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health. It can boost your mood, energy levels, and cognitive functioning, aiding in physical repair and wellness. Your immune system also does its best work during sleep, fighting off disease and keeping you strong and healthy. On the other hand, insomnia or the inability to sleep can cause serious health problems.
So, what can you do to improve your sleep quality? Here are some tips that may help:
Relax before bedtime:
Taking some time to relax before bed can help you fall asleep more easily. You can take a warm bath, read a good book, have a soothing warm drink, or even listen to a guided meditation. There are plenty of free and paid meditation apps that you can use to get started, such as Headspace, Healthy Minds, and Calm.
Use essential oils:
Essential oils such as lavender and vanilla have been shown to relax and improve sleep. You can add a few drops to your bath or have a diffuser in your bedroom. You can also try a blend of oils, such as 5 drops of lavender, 4 drops of sweet marjoram, 2 drops of cedarwood, 2 drops of eucalyptus, and 1 drop of frankincense for a good night’s sleep.
Eat complex carbohydrates:
Complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, beans, and oats, can regulate blood sugar levels and improve sleep.
Avoid stimulants before bed:
Avoid consuming caffeine (in coffee, black and green teas, and chocolate), alcohol, and cigarettes before bedtime.
Limit screen time before bed:
The blue light emitted from electronic devices can disrupt your sleep-wake patterns, so it’s best to avoid looking at screens (phone, tablet, or computer) for at least two hours before bed.
Maintain a sleep routine:
Going to bed and waking up at the same time daily can help your body and brain recognize when it’s time to sleep.
If you regularly experience sleep problems and feel it’s impacting you during your daytime hours, speaking to your GP is a good idea. Your GP may prescribe short-term medication to help you sleep, refer you to a sleep clinic for further advice or diagnose a specific sleep condition.
If you think your sleeping problems may be caused by stress, try some relaxation tips or seek help. Remember, a good night’s sleep can improve your physical and mental well-being. So, prioritize your sleep and take steps to ensure you get the rest you need.