Sleep Awareness Week: March 6-12, 2016

Sleep Awareness Week LogoSleep Awareness Week

Sleep Awareness Week occurs the week before we “spring forward” to Daylight Saving Time. It reminds us to take a moment to evaluate our sleep habits; chances are, we’ll find our sleep habits need improvement. We all need a steady stream of good sleep in order to live a healthy life. Seniors, in particular, may have trouble sleeping through the night due to a medical issue or medication. Lack of sleep in seniors can result in depression, excessive sleepiness, and memory/attention issues.

13 Ways to Improve Sleep in Seniors and All Ages

  • 1. Avoid caffeinated beverages at least 6 hours prior to bedtime
  • 2. Get daily exercise–it promotes sleep
  • 3. Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day
  • 4. Talk to your doctor about side effects of your medication if you’re having difficulty sleeping
  • 5. Turn off the TV and electronics at least one hour before bed; don’t fall asleep with these on
  • 6. Stay socially engaged to avoid depression
  • 7. Avoid alcohol as a sleep aid–it can actually keep you awake
  • 8. Don’t drink a lot of liquid close to bedtime
  • 9. Reduce your mental stress with relaxation techniques such as listening to calm music, having a massage, reading a book
  • 10. Address any pain issues that may be keeping you awake with your health care team
  • 11. Get plenty of exposure to sun each day; it can helps regulate melatonin and your sleep-wake cycles
  • 12. If you nap, do so in the early afternoon, not close to bedtime; keep naps short (15-45 minutes
  • 13. Keep your bedroom dark, cool (optimal temperature is 68°F), and quiet