If you are unable get sufficient sleep tackle the situation by taking into consideration a few related important aspects. One of them is recognizing and addressing the elements that are affecting your ability to sleep. Of them, a sleep disorder can be the most debilitating. Second is to generate an effective sleep schedule that facilitates sleep. Third is to employ measures that can help you deal with sleep disorders. Here are the different aspects involved in each of the steps, to help improve your sleep time and quality:
Recognize issues that affect your sleep
One of the most essential steps in improving the quality of your sleep is addressing your sleep disorder, and other factors that affect it. A few sleep disorders that commonly affect the elderly are restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and insomnia.
* Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as periodic limb movement disorder, is one in which limbs experience irritation, followed by movements to eliminate it. When this happens at night on a regular basis, it can disrupt sleep.
* Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is paused abnormally or is shallow.
* Insomnia is a disorder wherein you experience difficulty in going to sleep, and/or staying asleep. It may also be characterized by poor quality of sleep. If you experience one or a combination of these disorders, make a note of it, so that you can tackle it effectively.
* Another factor that can affect your sleep is the medications that you consume. Sometimes, prescription medicines used for treating illnesses can negatively affect your ability to sleep. Consult your doctor to find out whether your medications are stimulants that influence your sleep.
* Research indicates that room temperatures can also affect the quality of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, at night the room temperature should ideally be between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most effective method of recognizing the issues that affect your sleep is maintaining a sleep journal that thoroughly details daily activities. This will help identify the different aspects that negatively influence your sleep.
Create a sleep schedule
The next step in enhancing sleep quality and time, is creating a sleep schedule. There are two benefits to doing this. Firstly, it will help you form a routine prior to bed time. Secondly, with time, the routine will prepare your body for sleep when it is bedtime. Some activities that you can include in your sleep routine are, reading and listening to relaxing music. A factor that can influence the effectiveness of your sleep routine is your food timing. Ideally, consume food at least three to five hours prior to bedtime.
Employ remedial measures for specific sleep disorders
Disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome can be taken care of – to a large extent – with remedial measures. One such measure is a warm, relaxing bath prior to bed time. This can help calm the muscles, and bring down the chances of irritation in them during sleep time. One of the most effective ways to do this is in a hot tub that facilitates muscle relaxation. Another measure that can help alleviate sleep disorders is exercises. Employ exercise and fitness routines like tai chi, yoga and tennis. Research indicates that when older people performed tai chi, it improved their sleep. For maximum benefit, these activities should be done in the early hours of the morning.