According to studies, it is estimated that 46% of older adults above the age of 65 regularly experience difficulty with falling asleep and having a good uninterrupted rest in the night on a regular basis. This is an important issue to address since sleep is something crucial to ensuring health for all of us, and even more so for older adults. Not only can a lack of sleep result in a weaker immune system to defend against invasive viruses, but they have also been linked to a number of other health-related problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and even depression.
Before you look into taking alternative treatment as self-medication, it is highly recommended that you first consult with your physician on the best path to take. After all, a variety of natural sleep remedies are available for you to consider. Read on to find out what are these natural sleep remedies.
Reduction in Light Exposure
In the hours before you prepare for bed, it can be beneficial to use low lighting instead. During bedtime, switch off any light source and try to make the environment as dark as possible. This is because our sleep cycles are regulated by our circadian rhythms, which are regulated by the rising and setting of the Sun. As such, light from LED and fluorescent sources does interfere with our circadian rhythms by delaying the production of melatonin, our natural sleep hormone.
Apart from that, fluorescent light can send chaotic visuals to the brain, compound the effects of digital screens, cause fatigue-inducing glare, and even impair energy production. If your environment does not allow a reduction of light, then it may be time to consider a shift into living communities, where a variety of living programs such as assisted living is available.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Your diet not only plays a role in deciding how easily you fall asleep, but they also play a part in how long you can stay asleep. Some tips you might want to take into consideration are:
- Limiting intake of alcohol, coffee, and nicotine. Both caffeine and nicotine have long been known to induce a pronounced effect on sleep, interrupting our natural sleep cycles. Not only does this confuse the brain from regular sleep patterns, but it can also end up in restlessness as well as insomnia. Apart from that, alcohol is also something to avoid as it may contribute to nighttime wakefulness.
- Cutting back on sugar intake. While sugar may give you a short-lived burst of energy, it can cause uneven blood sugar levels which ultimately affect how long we are able to stay asleep.
- Consuming foods rich in magnesium. Research has shown that certain medications can indeed help with insomnia, and ultimately suggested that magnesium is a natural sedative. Some of the foods that are rich in magnesium include almonds, cashews, dark and leafy green vegetables, whole grains, as well as legumes and seeds.
If you find that it may be difficult or troublesome to consistently have to come up with such diets, then Sensations Dining offered by The Summit might just be what you are looking for. There, handpicked meals are freshly prepared every day to not only ensure that residents eat well, but also that they sleep well.