There are several factors that cause seniors to either have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 39 percent of people over the age of 65 frequently wake up during the night.
If you fall into that category, it can be extremely frustrating to not be able to fall back to sleep, especially if you wake up after only a couple hours of sleep and don’t feel tired.
There are several factors that cause seniors to either have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you’re eating well, not having caffeine after lunchtime, not drinking too many liquids before bedtime, and check your medications for insomnia-like side effects.
If you don’t believe any of those reasons are causing your nighttime issues, Corning Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has four things that you can try to help you fall back asleep.
- Don’t Stress
We’ve all been there. Ten minutes go by, you’re not falling back asleep, and then you do things like look at the clock, realize you have to be awake in X amount of hours, etc. As hard as it might be, ward off those feelings, and instead focus on what might be feeling good at that moment to keep you in a positive mindset.
- Work Towards Relaxation
Your body will fall asleep when it’s in a relaxed state. Work on getting into a relaxed state by doing deep breathing exercises or meditating while lying in bed.
- Do a Quiet Activity
After lying awake for 20 minutes, sleep experts suggest getting up out of bed and moving into a different room. Do a quiet activity like reading under dim light. It’s not recommended that you turn on the TV or engage with your phone or tablet because the artificial light can tell your body that it’s time to wake up.
- Save the Worrying for the Morning
If you are having anxiety about something in your life or a big event ahead, you may be thinking about it even while you are trying to rest. Put those feelings away the best you can and save it for the morning. One way to do that is by writing down what you’re anxious about, this way you can plan to deal with it when you wake up.