A Senior’s Guide to Low-Cost Solutions for Better Sleep
As we age, we can develop trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting quality rest when we actually are asleep. Getting good sleep is known to “reduce stress, boost memory and reaction time, make the best decisions, and stave off depression … sleep may also play into better blood-pressure control and heart health.” This means it’s very important -- especially for seniors. If you need better sleep, start with these effective, low-cost tips.
Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sleep Sanctuary
One of the biggest mistakes people make is using their bedrooms for things other than sleep. This tricks your brain into thinking it needs to be awake when it’s in bed, when, of course, it does not. Your first step to better sleep is to make your room conducive to it. For starters, leave the electronics (phone, laptop, TV) outside. Technology can negatively affecting your sleep.
After that, focus on making the room as sleep comfortable as possible through low-cost options like replacing bright, hard light with softer lighting. Make sure your room is temperate. This can be accomplished with a new ceiling fan or a portable heater. Don’t forget to browse for sales, promo codes, and cashback opportunities from a retailer like Target.
Take Your Mattress Choice Seriously
It seems obvious that what you sleep on is important, but a surprising number of seniors sleep on the same old mattress for years -- one that is not serving their specific needs well. And that’s the thing - everyone has specific needs. Side-sleepers need a certain type of mattress (pressure relief, probably memory foam) while stomach sleepers need another (latex or air-chamber). Start with this helpful mattress guide. Remember, before you make a purchase, look for coupons and cashback deals on sites like Amazon. You can dramatically lower costs this way.
Make Smart Food Choices
What you put in your body matters for a lot of reasons, but especially for sleep. What and when you eat can either boost or sabotage your night’s rest -- it’s all up to you. Changing your dietary habits is free and relatively easy. Try to follow these key rules:
Nix the caffeine and alcohol one to three hours before bedtime. Switch to decaf coffee.
Don’t eat one to two hours before you try to sleep.
Add foods known to aid in sleep like walnuts, almonds, cherries, and rice to your diet.
Avoid spicy foods in the evening or late afternoon to avoid indigestion.
Drink wisely. Don’t knock back too much liquid before you hit the hay. Frequent bathroom breaks are sure to mess with your sleep.
Switch to Breathable Fabrics -- On and Off
What you wear to bed and the kind of sheets you lie on matter. Even in temperate environments, sleeping can raise body temperature, disturbing us in the middle of the night. Breathable fabrics are used in pajamas and sheets/blankets, and you should make the switch. It’s not an expensive venture if you first check online for promo codes, coupons or weekly discounts at stores like Walmart.
The problem with poor sleep is that it’s a vicious cycle. You can’t sleep so you get stressed about it. Then that stress makes it even harder to sleep. This leads to health problems -- both mental and physical. Before you give up and succumb to this all-too-common problem, try to take a breath and realize that the human body is designed to sleep at night. If you make a few (or all) of these simple, fairly inexpensive life changes, you too will find comfort and rest.