There are so many ways to approach getting better sleep at night, especially as a senior. You've probably heard not to nap for too long during the day or to avoid eating a full meal shortly before bedtime. Here are some lesser-known tips that you can try if you're having trouble sleeping:
1. Try a new mattress
It's pretty common for people to own a mattress for 10 years or more. While there is no official expiration date for these important cushions, it's a good idea to swap them out if it's been a few years and you just can't get comfortable on your current mattress. Many seniors have had their current mattress for a long time. Consider purchasing a new one when you move to a senior-living community. Have the mattress delivered right to your new place.
2. Reconsider your pillow
What position do you usually sleep in? Do you lie on your side or stomach? Maybe you're more of a back sleeper. These positions matter when choosing a new pillow. Side sleepers need thicker pillows in order to place their heads in a comfortable position that aligns the spine. Those who rest on their stomachs can benefit from a thinner pillow as this won't extend the neck and head too far above the back and legs. Make sure your pillow is the right size for your bed and that you're not using too many that you're uncomfortable. It can also be beneficial to sleep with a pillow between your knees if you lie on your side. This will prevent sensitive joints from knocking against one another and may reduce back and hip pain by creating better posture.
"Turn down the temperature in your bedroom for better rest."
3. Change up the temperature
Do you wake up in the night feeling overwhelmingly hot, only to throw off the covers and then get cold and bundle up again? The temperature in your bedroom is a major factor in your ability to sleep through the night. Most people prefer a colder setting at night than during the day because this allows them to cozy up under a comforter without getting too hot. Try adjusting your thermostat from five to seven degrees cooler during the night than the day.
4. Listen to white noise
Sound is another key factor in sleep. Even if you're snoozing peacefully, you may hear something that distracts your brain and can wake you up. Or, perhaps you have trouble falling asleep because you're too busy listening to the world around you. Birds outside, the ticking of a clock or music from down the hall can all disrupt your rest. Consider listening to white noise as you go to bed. Set a timer so the sound goes off within a half an hour and enjoy the blissful calm that ensues as you drift off to dreamland.