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5 Natural Ways to Help Seniors Get Better Sleep

The average senior 65 years or older needs to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night to remain healthy. However, many seniors have a problem getting an adequate amount of sleep every day. In addition, there are several conditions that can inhibit seniors from getting the appropriate amount of sleep as they age in place.

The key thing to understand is that there are ways to help seniors increase their sleep quantity and quality, without resorting to prescription sleep medication. Below, we share five tips to help seniors get better sleep.

Be Consistent

Making sure that you have a consistent bedtime can help your body know when to wind down at the end of the day. Specifically, going to bed at a consistent time can help your body respect its circadian rhythm or “internal clock.” 

Whether you go to bed at 8:00 p.m. or midnight, finding a consistent bedtime can help you sleep more soundly. 

Getting up at the same time can also help your body know when it's time to start the day. Consistency makes for sounder sleep for people of all ages, including seniors.

Make Your Bedroom Comfortable

Making your bedroom a comfortable place to sleep isn’t just about having a plush bed. While a comfortable bed helps, you need a bedroom that’s conducive to getting the best sleep possible. 

Consider keeping the room slightly cool and make sure it’s as dark as possible. Also, consider moving electronic devices like TVs and smartphones to another room. If there are no distractions, you are likely to get better sleep.

Take a Melatonin Supplement

Melatonin is a chemical that readies the body for sleep. Taking a 100% all-natural melatonin supplement approximately one hour before bed can help you fall asleep more easily. Many people produce less melatonin as they age. So, taking a supplement can be a great way to replace your melatonin levels as you age. Melatonin supplements can also help improve your quality of sleep without causing dependency.

Adjust Your Diet

Adjusting your diet and the way you eat in the evening can net you more rest throughout the night. 

Cutting back on the amount of sugar that you consume as well as limiting your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can also help you sleep better at night. 

Also, consider adding more foods to your diet that contain tryptophan. Eating a small carbohydrate-rich snack before bed such as a few whole-grain crackers can help some people sleep. Be sure to refrain from eating too much, however. Many people find it harder to fall asleep on a full stomach.

Try Drinking Hot Tea

Drinking a bedtime beverage like lemon balm tea can help your body relax and promote better sleep. The lemon balm is said to calm nerves and help with anxiety. Supplements that include valerian may also help. Other ingredients that may help some seniors get better sleep include hops, passionflower, and kava kava. 

In the end, seniors will have to try different things to find out what works for them. It’s advisable to seek natural options before resorting to sleeping pills or other prescription drugs. That said, always consult your primary care physician before trying a new sleep remedy. Your doctor can tell you whether your new routine works well with your prescription medications.

At Senior Helpers in Tucson, we’re here to help with round-the-clock care for seniors in Tucson, Tanque Verde, Sabino Canyon, Pima County, Coronado National Forest, and East Tucson. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you or your loved one.