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Sleep Better

Nearly half of us experience problems getting to sleep at some time in our lives and nothing ruins a day more than lack of sleep the night before. The amount of sleep individuals need varies, but most people need somewhere between six and eight hours each night. Contrary to popular belief older adults need the same amount, however their sleep pattern may change with age.

Waking very early in the morning may simply mean your body is ready to get up. In fact, no matter how early it is, it is always better to get up and do something until you feel sleepy again rather than lie there frustrated.

Sleep Better

Many things can cause sleep problems:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription drugs
  • Changes in our work schedule
  • Travel
  • Family illness
  • Physical changes that come with getting older

Over the counter drugs may work, but the next day you may feel as groggy as the lack of sleep would have left you. To make matters worse you could suffer side effects from taking them such as constipation, urinary retention, dry mouth and vasoconstriction of the eyes, which can interfere with contact lens use.

So what’s the solution?

Start by following the same routine each night. Have a regular bedtime, and keep your bedroom for bedroom activities only, that means no reading, watching television or working in bed. Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible, use room-darkening shades, lower the temperature to 65 degrees and when your are ready to sleep turn lights out.

You could also try some simple relaxation techniques, such as taking a warm bath before you go to bed, even better if you add a few drops of lavender oil (hops works well too).

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