How can I sleep better

11 tips for a better night's sleep

One sheep, two sheep, three sheep ... Counting sheep does not have to be. Getting a good night's sleep is important and has an impact on health. That is the reason why you should sleep a lot and soundly, especially in old age. But how do you find the right sleep and how much is really enough? With the right habits and the right tips, you will sleep like a marmot and also feel fit for the day.

  1. How does the need for sleep change with age?
  2. The reasons for sleep disorders in old age
  3. Tips for a better sleep in old age
  4. Conclusion

This is how your need for sleep changes with age

Your body changes over the course of life. Processes slow down with age and physical and mental performance decrease. But it is like a classic car, if it is looked after and if someone takes care of it, it will drive on the road in perfect condition for years to come. It is the same with your body. With the right behavior and habits, you will stay safe and sound for a long time. Sleep is an important state of rest and pure relaxation. There are many things you can do to ensure a perfect sleep.

Your need for sleep changes with age. As an infant, you still needed around 16 hours of sleep, whereas a young adult only spends a quarter of his rest time in deep sleep. He needs an average of 8 hours of sleep. The older you get, the smaller the deep sleep phase you need, but the amount of sleep hardly changes. The rest phases are distributed differently in old age. With an afternoon nap on the sofa or a nap in bed, you can meet your sleeping needs. So you don't get a guilty conscience if you treat yourself to the rest of the day.

The reasons for sleep disorders in old age

Not only does the need for sleep decrease, changed living conditions have a not insignificant influence on your sleep behavior. The quality of sleep phases for many people decreases with age, some take longer to fall asleep or wake up more easily. As a result, you may feel less rested in the morning. But don't worry, it is normal and there are usually no problems with sleeping.

© michaeljung - fotolia.com

Do you lie awake for a long time in the evening before you fall asleep? The reason is usually very simple: You go to bed too early. Since the need for sleep at night is shorter in old age, you can definitely go to sleep later. Don't go to sleep out of boredom, but use the time in the evening to read a good book, look at an interesting documentary or look for another exciting hobby that has the potential for evening activity. You would then rather make up for all of your sleep needs during the day.

Our tip: In order to determine health problems with sleep, it is advisable to consult a doctor and have the nightly rest phase monitored in a sleep laboratory. With the right examinations and evaluations of the results, specialists can find out whether there are any deviations that are causing you trouble sleeping.

One possible cause is sleep apnea, for example. These breathing disorders occur in every fourth person over the age of 60. Limb twitching or restless legs syndrome can also keep you awake. First, see your GP and ask for advice.

Tips for a better sleep in old age

The behaviors and habits that lead to better sleep are part of sleep hygiene. These tips will help you sleep soundly:

  1. Spend as much time outside as possible. This way, your day-night rhythm doesn't get mixed up so easily.
  2. A walk in the fresh air makes you tired.
  3. Avoid caffeine in the evening and eat easily digestible foods.
  4. Do not go to bed until you are really tired.
  5. If possible, sleep at night and only catch up on sleep during the day if you wake up early.
  6. Set an alarm clock during the day so as not to sleep too long.
  7. If possible, go to sleep at the same time.
  8. Ventilate your bedroom well and make sure that it is at an optimal sleeping temperature (approx. 18 degrees).
  9. Lavender, valerian or lemon balm have a calming effect. The herbal ingredients unfold their effect as tea or scented sachets.
  10. Sleep on a good quality mattress.
  11. Darken your bedroom and create a quiet environment.

Conclusion

Sleep behavior changes over the course of life. Sleep in old age is influenced by some new living conditions. The body changes and with it habits. Now many people sleep less at night and you get the feeling that you are not recovered. However, with naps throughout the day, you can achieve the total amount used for recovery. If the discomfort persists, changes in your habits and supportive measures are required. The implementation of the so-called sleep hygiene offers a quick solution. If this does not help, a doctor should be consulted.