The challenge of sleeplessness is significantly higher among the elderly. According to a 2003 poll by NSF, 44% of older adults experience one or more symptoms of struggling to sleep some nights every week. Luckily, there are some sleep remedies that are natural AND help curb this problem.
A good night’s sleep is essential for the elderly as it helps improve memory function as well as concentration. It allows the brain and body to function properly and enhance one’s learning, creativity and decision making. Getting enough sleep has been associated with a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and stroke – conditions that are synonymous with getting older. However, busy schedules have seen a decrease in the quality and quantity of sleep – and many elderly are increasingly suffering from it.
Sadly, not sleeping poses significant risks. Sleep deprivation may result in increased fall risk, attention and memory problems, among other issues. In this article, we will look at some natural sleep remedies. Home remedies are beneficial because they are less likely to cause complications. Most of these remedies have been around for centuries, used by millions with success.
NATURAL SLEEP REMEDIES
One of the main reasons people do not fall asleep is because of distraction. Distractions include anything from outside noises, thoughts, stress, tv, and even temperature. When your mind is distracted, it can be challenging to settle down and relax. In which case, meditation can help you be in control of your thoughts. This way, you can shut out the distractions and relax yourself to sleep. Meditation also allows you to release all body tension, which also causes lack of sleep.
There are specific exercises that can help relax muscles in your body. These exercises promote physical relaxation, reduce tension and enhance your quality of sleep. A healthy physical lifestyle is a great way to keep muscles strong and keep them from being restless at night. Simple stretches before bedtime can also do the trick.
Get out of bed
Going to bed doesn’t always translate to falling asleep. So, if you are already in bed but don’t feel like sleeping, get up and take care of things that need to be done – like chatting with family or friends, reading a book or scheduling your week. These activities will enhance blood flow and help you to sleep comfortably.
This is easier said than done. With televisions, computers and mobile phones all around us, it’s hard to not get distracted before going to bed. But studies show that these screens emit blue light which makes it hard for us to fall asleep. Since you are trying to fight sleeplessness, it might be a great idea to turn off the devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime to allow your mind to transition smoothly.
Essential oils like lavender, cedarwood, bergamot, rose, and jasmine, can help you sleep better. Aromatherapy has been used for hundreds of years to treat different emotional and physical health issues. Many studies showed its effectiveness in lowering anxious thoughts and enhancing quality sleep. A 2020 survey by Wall Street revealed that a sniff of lavender could support women in healthy sleep patterns and quality of sleep.
Food and diet
With processed and fast foods all around us, it is easy to fall into the convenience of it all. However, studies have shown a correlation between food and health and sleep. Some foods help boost your body functions. Others work to your disadvantage, especially when you are having a hard time sleeping. Products high in caffeine, nicotine, sugar, and alcohol for instance, are known to cause problems sleeping. Try to stay away from these products and try consuming those that help you sleep – like whole grains, veggies and lean proteins.
Consistency is key
Your body has a circadian system that can be affected when you do not have a sleep rhythm. So, rather than sleeping at 8:00 PM today, and midnight tomorrow, try going to bed at a specific hour every day. This way, your body will naturally switch off to sleep mode at that time.
Before you start any home remedies for sleep, it is essential to talk to your doctors first. A chronic sleep disorder can be a sign of other underlying conditions.