Maintaining a Healthy Sleep Routine as You Age
We've been told from a young age how important it is to get a "good night's sleep." However, our need for sleep changes as we age. As our bodies age, we begin to produce lower levels of growth hormone, which means time in the less slow wave or deep sleep part of our night. As a result, the body produces less melatonin, which can cause more sleep disturbances throughout the night.
Aging adults often get tired earlier in the afternoon or evening, wanting to get to bed earlier. However, this causes them to rise earlier in the morning. Overall, getting a good night's sleep at any age is vital to a healthy brain and immune system. As your sleep habits change with age, developing a healthy sleep routine and schedule is important to ensure great sleep.
Below, explore some tips and tricks to help you maintain a healthy sleep routine as you age.
Natural Melatonin Boost
Though your body may produce less melatonin with age, there are ways to help support a natural boost in this hormone. One way to do this is to avoid using artificial lights, especially at night before bed. Bright lights before bed can affect your body's ability to produce melatonin.
Keeping electronic devices, such as TVs and cell phones, out of the bedroom whenever possible is recommended. Try to stop using these devices at least one hour before you plan to go to sleep, or consider using blue light glasses if you need to use electronics before bed.
Wake and Sleep on a Schedule
Going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day will get your body's internal clock on a regular schedule. Even on weekends, aim to go to sleep and wake up on a regular schedule to help support healthy sleep.
While this is not always possible, as life can happen, trying your best to maintain regular sleeping patterns can go a long way. In addition, avoid napping too late in the day as this can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at your normal time.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine Before Bed
Although some may enjoy a glass of wine to relax before bed, drinking alcohol can actually interfere with your sleep habits. Avoid alcohol and any caffeinated beverages in the evening, at least four hours before bedtime.
Learn More Ways to Support Improved Sleep & Overall Health
Understanding your changing needs for sleep as you age can help you easily adapt your sleep habits to improve overall sleep quality. However, these tips and tricks for great sleep routines are just the beginning! Talk to your doctor to learn more about ways to enhance your sleep.
Our preventive primary care allows us to spend more time with patients, resulting in better relationships. Confidence that your doctor has your best interest in mind will help you improve your overall habits. Are you interested in learning more about becoming a patient? Find a center near you and book a tour!