The majority of older folk say that they don’t sleep well – as many as three out of four. If you count yourself among the poor sleepers, you may need some snooze tips. Begin by making your bedroom into a pleasant, restful and delightful room.
Remove the TV and ban all electronic gadgets from the bedroom. Decorate with soft restful colours. Darken the bedroom at night with a blackout blind if necessary and if your street is noisy, use earplugs. We are told that a mattress needs renewing every eight years. Is yours past its use by date? Older folk tend to sleep hot, so adjust doonas and blankets so that you are perfectly comfortable temperature wise.
TIP: Friends tell me that they adore their new cellular cotton blankets; nice and warm, never too hot, never heavy.
Keep lighting soft – use bedside lamps and instal dimmer switches if you like. Always have a window open at least a little at night to bring in fresh air. Throw it open wide during the day and air the room thoroughly.
You may need to change your habits to help you sleep better.
Try not to go to bed too early; your body likes to have about an hour to wind down before bed so put away the electronics and watch TV, read the papers, do the puzzles, scan a magazine, enjoy a DVD and relax into a sleepy mood.
TIPS FOR THE HOME STRETCH
You might go as far as using a specially designed app to track sleep patterns and maybe find a link with your lifestyle, RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) can be a nuisance and interrupt sleep – a magnesium supplement is often recommended. If all else fails and you are at the end of your tether, have your GP refer you to a clinic for sleep disorders.
Remember that even if we are wakeful in bed, we are resting. The amount of sleep needed will vary from person to person, but over 60s probably need less sleep than they did when younger. About six or seven hours of deep sleep plus about two hours of dozing is considered normal for 60 year olds.
There is no lovelier experience than preparing for bed in your softly lamplit bedroom, snuggling into your most comfortable bed made up with exquisite bed linen and then drifting off to sleep. Goodnight.