Health > How Can Seniors Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
10th Mar 2022

How Can Seniors Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

Sleeping is one of the essential processes which provide various benefits to an individual. Night sleep is known for the growth and repair of body cells besides physical and mental rest. One of the common problems faced by seniors is the change in sleeping patterns and reduced sleep hours. Generally, the change is gradual, and by the time seniors realise this problem, they are likely to be facing problems like lack of energy, enthusiasm, and negative mood due to sleep troubles. 

 What is Good Night Sleep? 

A good night’s sleep is when you don’t have trouble falling asleep, and you wake up feeling fresh and energetic to start the day. While all of us have varying sleeping needs, it is considered that every individual must have 7 to 8 hours of sleep. People with a proper sleeping schedule find it easy to fall asleep and wake up early. Quality sleep is essential in determining the appropriate functioning of your body. Fragmented sleep often leads to a disturbed body rhythm and mental peace. As we age, our sleeping pattern also changes throughout our life span. It is affected by the circadian clock, which tells our body when to sleep and wake up according to rhythmic actions. However, if seniors face poor sleep patterns, early medications can help them improve their condition.    

Tips for Good Night Sleep in Old Age 

Seniors who do not sleep on time experience anxiety and depression. Moreover, poor sleep can also increase the chances of night-time falls or sleep-walking in seniors. Here are a few tips for achieving good quality sleep in the night as seniors. 

1. Engage In Physical Activity 

Exercise, yoga or other forms of physical activity can help you fall asleep sooner and sleep more soundly. If working out at night makes you feel too stimulated, try working out in the morning and enjoy your sleep at night.   

2. Establish a Sleeping Schedule  

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Pre-bed rituals, such as taking a hot bath or listening to soothing music, etc. signal your body that it’s time to unwind. Avoid watching TV or using other electronic devices shortly before bedtime. Avoid passionate discussions with family or friends late at night. Avoid doing any stimulating tasks, such as working or paying bills and also avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol, or spicy food before going to bed. Maintain the room temperature in a moderate range, have a clean bed, and ensure that your bedroom isn’t noisy. 

3. Stop Afternoon Nap  

As long as you get enough sleep at night, napping is not a problem, but it is detrimental for people suffering from insomnia. 

4. Allow Your Body To Relax Closer To Bedtime  

Consider progressive muscle relaxation, it entails gradually tensing and relaxing all of your muscles, taking a soothing hot shower, listening to soft music, reading a book and relaxing before sleep. 

5. Manage Your Stress 

Anxiety can also lead to sleepless nights. As a method to let go of their stressors, many elderly people write things down in a notebook. Relax your mind by focusing on something else, such as a fond memory of a dear family member or friend instead of worrying. It should make you more likely to have pleasant dreams and sound sleep.   

6. Take Care Of Snoring  

If sleeping problems are causing your snoring, talk to a doctor, especially if it prevents you from breathing. C-Pap can improve your quality of sleep. 

7. Use Pillows To Relieve Body Aches  

Whenever you sleep on your side, it can be helpful to have a pillow between your knees. One of the best tips to get good sleep is sleeping on your back to reduce spinal tension by placing a small pillow under the back of your knees.   

 8. Why Seniors Face Trouble in Falling Asleep? 

Seniors might face issues in falling asleep due to:-   

  • Painful medical conditions like Arthritis, Night-time heartburn, and Osteoporosis.  
  • Seniors are likely to suffer insomnia, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, rapid eye movement, sleep behaviour disorder, and periodic limb movement disorder.   
  • Ailments like Alzheimer’s Disease further worsen the sleep issues for seniors.   
  • Menopause and post-menopause-based issues in female seniors.  
  • Side effects of ongoing medications also cause sleeping troubles in seniors.  
  • Stress and anxiety-related troubles. 

Vastu Tips for Good Night Sleep   

Vastu promotes the importance of sleeping in accordance with the movement of the earth & its direction. Things done according to Vastu can resonate many benefits into our lives. According to Vastu, you should sleep with your head towards the South or East. It is told that every direction presents relating benefits for itself. Sleeping towards the South helps in avoiding several health-related issues.    

While sleeping, it is also essential to channel positive energy around you to tap into it subconsciously during your good night’s sleep. Feng Shui is a Chinese technique that focuses on tapping into positive energy from the placement of one’s surroundings. You should keep the following points in mind, according to Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra: 

  • Your bed should be on the opposite side of the entryway. 
  • Keep your bed next to the wall, rather than in the centre of the room.  
  • Bookshelves and mirrors should not be placed immediately in front of your bed.  
  • Make sure your sleeping area is clean and clutter-free.  
  • Electronics should not be kept in the bedroom.  
  • In your bedroom, choose light tones of colour such as white, cream, and so on.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much sleep should seniors get in a night? 

Seniors over 65 years of age must sleep for 7-8 hours every night though individual requirements may vary

What is the best natural sleep aid for seniors?

Valerian root, Magnesium-rich foods, and the fragrance of Lavender flowers are considered among the best natural sleep aids for seniors. According to ayurvedic tips for good sleep, Ashwagandha churan, Jatamansi churan, and Brahmi churan are recommended

What should seniors do before bedtime?  

Seniors may take a warm bath, take some time preparing their mind for sleeping, take light meals, and stick to a schedule before bedtime.