Quality sleep eludes many seniors — even the ones who eat right, exercise, avoid caffeine and spicy foods, and have made all of the general lifestyle changes recommended to those who suffer from sleep issues. Sometimes, however, you need something to help the process along. Here are the best products you can get to help improve your sleep.
A New Mattress That’s Tailored to Your Needs
It’s best the start with the thing most likely affecting your sleep in a negative way — an old mattress that’s also the wrong style for you. Some signs that it’s time for a new mattress include neck, back, and shoulder pain, sinking into it, and the simple fact that it’s been more than five years since you purchased a new one. Mattresses wear out, and with that comes poor sleep. When searching for a new one, be sure to find the style that suits your specific sleep needs. Highly specialized mattresses (low air loss mattress, alternating pressure mattress, or lateral rotation mattress for example) can help with comfort.
A Good Sleep App
While it’s not very smart to spend the hours before your bedtime scrolling through Facebook, your smartphone can actually be of some assistance in the bedroom. Two major categories of apps exist to help you get better sleep. The first — and probably most important — are those that track your sleep cycles, recommend sleep patterns, and attempt to wake you naturally using your own circadian rhythms. Other useful apps promote good sleep through white noise, relaxation techniques, or guided meditation.
Most seniors would like to avoid taking prescription sleeping medication if at all possible. For a more natural approach to sleep aids, consider various over-the-counter and non-medicinal remedies first. Melatonin supplements have been shown to work for some people. This is the hormone your body already produces to regulate sleep, and taking extra can help. Beyond that, various essential oils and aromatherapy products can have an effect on sleep. If nothing else, they can produce a calming effect that puts you in the right frame of mind for better sleep. Lavender, jasmine, and sandalwood are a few of the top aromas said to promote sleep.
Bedding That Regulates Temperature
Can your bedding — your sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and comforters — keep your core temperature better regulated at night? In other words, can what you sleep in prevent you from getting too hot, thus disrupting your sleep? The data points to yes. Improper heat regulation is a major factor in poor sleep quality, especially in seniors. If you’re prone to tossing and turning and waking up multiple times, buying bedding that prevents this may help you stay asleep.
Room-Darkening Curtains (or Blinds)
Many people struggle with the amount of light present in their bedrooms. Normal window coverings fail to block out bright sunlight in the early morning hours or city lights from dusk till dawn. Blackout curtains have been helping people sleep for decades, and if you wake up too early or can’t seem to tune out the visual commotion outside your windows, they may be able to help you too. Note: The recommendation here is room-darkening curtains, as opposed to full-on blackout curtains. The latter can make your room so dark that it’s unsafe to navigate.
Very few things are more important than sleep when it comes to aging gracefully and making sure you can live your golden years to the fullest. While lifestyle changes are important for improving the quality of your sleep, it’s hard to get around poor sleeping materials, distractions, stress, and bodily imbalances. So, try introducing one or more of these sleep aid products into your life and reap the benefits.