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Senior Insomnia: Tips for Improving Sleep Habits

Posted by Elder Health Plans, January 19, 2016

Do you find that aging makes it harder to sleep at night? It is common for seniors to experience changing sleep patterns, which can be frustrating if you find yourself sitting up at night. Regardless of your age, it is important to get a good night’s rest to ensure that your body has time to repair cell damage and strengthen the immune system.

Here are a few tips to help you improve your sleep patterns:

Adjust Your Sleep Environment

Are you setting yourself up for success before going to sleep? Make sure the TV is off and limit screen time an hour before bed. Turn off your phone or put it on silent so that you aren’t woken up by notifications. If needed, hang up thick curtains to block light from coming in the window. By managing the environment where you sleep, you can reduce the light and noise to make it easier to enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

Stress Reduction

High levels of stress might lead to insomnia, so you should make it a point to reduce stress levels as much as possible. Stress can be the result of big life changes, such as retirement or the death of a friend or loved one. Make sure to exercise regularly, because exercising releases endorphins in the body that decrease stress levels.

Consider Your Diet

Are you eating foods that cause disruptions in your sleep? Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine as much as possible, especially right before bed. These substances are stimulants, which means that they might be interfering with your sleep.

Talk with a Doctor

Certain types of medications or medical conditions might be interfering with your sleep patterns. So, it is a good idea to talk with a doctor about your individual situation. Older adults often take more medications compared with younger people, and one of those medications might be making it hard for you to sleep at night. Consider the potential side effects of the medications that you are taking, to determine if you can adjust the dosage or change the medication to eliminate the sleep problems.

To learn more about the medical treatments that are available for insomnia, make sure that you have a good insurance plan to cover your visit with the doctor. Contact us for more information about insurance plans for seniors.

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