Guest article by Jim McKinley . . . Find him at Moneywithjim.org
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Having trouble sleeping? You’re far from alone, as it’s a common ailment among seniors, who often find themselves tossing and turning long after lying down or waking up in the middle of the night for seemingly no reason at all. Though doctors may provide medication to solve this problem, there are healthier ways to ensure you get the rest you need and wake up refreshed to enjoy what the day has to offer. Some methods are easy fixes, while others require a change in lifestyle, but all of them are tried and true. Read on for some tips from The Fundamentals of Homecare.
Buy a New Mattress
The solution might be as simple as this. According to lifestyle website Elite Daily, sleeping on an old mattress leads to back pain and increased irritability, which, in turn, increases your level of stress, making it even more difficult to get some rest the next night. Moreover, it may be filled with dust mites and allergens from years of use. Finding something new to sleep on is a matter of taste, but some qualities to look for include support and responsiveness to pressure.
And that also means taking your evening meal at the right time. Eating raises your core body temperature, making it difficult to fall asleep, so give yourself at least four hours between dinner and bedtime so you have time to cool off. As far as what to prepare, aim for lean proteins like chicken and turkey that are rich in tryptophan, which works its sleepy magic most efficiently when combined with starches such as rice, pasta and potatoes.
A lack of water can keep you awake at night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Snoring is another symptom, so your spouse needs to get enough fluids as well or you’ll have trouble sleeping for another reason altogether. To stay hydrated throughout the day, have a drink of water immediately upon waking up, with every meal, and right before bed. Also, try to eat foods rich in water like fruit. Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle around with you just in case you get parched while you’re out running errands.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re very concerned about your sleep habits, you should talk to a doctor, as you may suffer from a more serious psychiatric or physiological condition that’s causing insomnia. Your loved ones would want to stay informed of the situation, as well as other medical issues, as they’re doubtlessly concerned about your well-being. A senior-friendly tablet would help you communicate with them by email or video call, no matter how far away they live.
This helps in a number of ways. First, the brain makes up for the physical activity you’re engaged in by spending more time in deep sleep. Also, when you raise your body temperature, it falls by an equal amount later on, which triggers a physiological train reaction that includes the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. In addition, exercise relieves stress, which may be what’s keeping you awake at night. Strength training, aerobics, and stretching are all part of a balanced fitness routine, and yoga offers all three at once.
Going after your dreams not only gives you direction and purpose, but a healthy self-esteem boost as well. This assuredness can help you sleep better, hitting the pillow knowing that tomorrow will be another step in your pursuit of fulfilling a mission. For instance, it’s never too late to go for a college-level degree in a field you’ve always wanted to learn more about. With accredited schools like Western Governors University, you can work towards an online degree without leaving the house, and do it affordably and at your pace.
Get a Handle on Your Finances
When excessive debt is part of your life, sleep can be hard to come by. The stress of creditors calling has become commonplace for many since the COVID-19 outbreak, with lost jobs and possibly a lost loved one who may have been the primary breadwinner. This calls for ascertaining your financial situation and, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, reaching out for assistance to help you come up with payment plans.
Managing your finances helps you feel secure, and the hours spent ruminating and worrying about unpaid bills or an unsure future will be reduced or even eliminated. In addition to having a plan in place to reduce your debt load, look into safe investments.
Design a Sleep Routine
It’s basically a series of things you do in the evening to “power down” and get psychologically ready for a peaceful night’s rest. There’s no one routine that works best for everyone, but there are a number of elements that are often incorporated. These include meditation to clear your mind, a warm shower or bath, and an infusion such as chamomile, lavender, or passion flower. You can top it all off with a few pages of a book when you’re tucked cozily under the sheets.
You can begin taking most of these steps today. Make them a habit and you’ll find yourself more energized throughout the day and able to enjoy your golden years with gusto.