Some of us probably didn’t get a good night sleep last night.  Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping problems for people 60 years old and older. Signs of insomnia can be: taking a long time to fall asleep, waking up many times during the night, waking up early and not being able to get back to sleep, waking up feeling tired, feeling very sleepy during the day. We know when we don’t sleep well that the next day we will probably feel irritable, depressed, have some memory problems, and are more prone to falling or having an accident. There are some things that we can do to try and help ourselves get a better night’s sleep. This is called “Sleep Hygiene”.  Here are some tips: 1) Establish a schedule – go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time in the morning, even on the weekends and when we are on vacation. 2) Establish a bedtime routine. Maybe this is reading or listening to quiet soothing music. 3) Don’t watch TV or be look at your cell phone or computer screen right before bed. These things actually stimulate our minds and confuse our body. 4) Keep your room comfortable- not too hot and not too cold. 5) Exercise can help us sleep better. 6) Avoid eating a large meal right before going to bed. 7) Avoid caffeine later in the day. 8) Don’t take late afternoon naps. 9) Remember- alcohol won’t help you sleep. If you try these things over a period of time and you are still not sleeping well, talk with your doctor. Maybe you are in pain or are taking medications that interfere with your being able to sleep. Maybe you are having to get up several times a night to go to the bathroom. Your doctor may prescribe a supplement or a medication for you to take temporarily to help you sleep. Sleep tight tonite!

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