Getting a good night’s sleep is important for everybody. But it’s especially important for senior citizens who have more things keeping them from sleeping than most of the rest of us. Between the aches and pains that come with aging, they need to get up to go the bathroom several times a night and the stress that can be brought on by all of the above, it’s a wonder seniors get any sleep at all!
What can be done? Here are three keys to helping seniors get good night sleeps:
Keeping the Bedroom Dark and Cool
There are many things that can aggravate us and prevent us from falling asleep. Naturally, noise and light are among the most popular. It’s important to note that eliminating or reducing noise and light before turning in to bed are key ways to help get a more restful sleep. That includes shutting off the TV or computer at least an hour before hitting the sack.
According to HelpGuide.org, you should “make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool, and your bed is comfortable. We often become more sensitive to noise as we age, and light and heat can also cause sleep problems. Using a sound machine, earplugs, or a sleep mask can help.”
Doing Your Best to Eliminate Stress
The impact of one’s emotional state on his/her sleep should not be underestimated. No matter how tired you may feel, enduring stress is a guaranteed way to have interrupted sleep patterns. Who can really feel rested when they’re stressed out? By finding ways to reduce stress, you’ll find that your sleep is longer and more restful.
“Avoid stress,” insists Toronto’s C-Care Health Services, “Use different strategies to let go of worries and thoughts, such as reading a book, listening to music, using relaxation techniques, socializing, or getting a massage.”
Showering 90 Minutes Before Bedtime
Who doesn’t enjoy the feeling of being fresh and clean before hitting the sack? A warm and refreshing shower provides a great sense of relaxation. So consider making bathing a before-bed routine each day. As Abigail Abrams reports on Time.com, showering earlier in the evening gives your body a chance to trigger sleep.
She offers this revelation with the help of Shelby Harris who is the director of behavioral sleep medicine at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center. “Several studies have shown that warming your body by taking a bath can help induce sleep when there’s enough time to cool off afterward,” writes Abrams, “While much of the research has focused on baths, a 20-minute shower would have similar effects, Harris says.”
Harris goes on to recommend that people time their showers about an hour and a half before turning in for the night. “That way, by the time you lay down in bed, your body will be cool, dry and ready for sleep,” adds Abrams.
At Forward Day, we’re very pleased to know that our Shower Bay portable showers have done a lot to help seniors attain longer and more restful sleep at night. Because Shower Bay can be snapped together in any room of the home where there is a faucet nearby, it eliminates the barriers that many bathrooms put up for wheelchair users.