Do you have difficulty drifting into a restful slumber? If you do, you are not alone. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “more than 60 million Americans suffer from poor sleep quality.” For a significant portion of older adults, sleep issues result in prescription medications. No one wants to add more to his or her medicinal intake if it is not 100% necessary. Fortunately, there are natural sleep aids that can benefit older adults in senior living.
Behavioral Therapy is simply the conditioning of following specific routines for improved sleep quality. Recommended habits for better sleep aid include:
Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day
Doing activities that are quiet before bed
Avoiding bright lights before bed
Keep the bedroom dark and cool
Only using the bed for bedroom activities, never work-related items
Try calming breathing techniques before bed
If you do find yourself fighting to catch some Z’s, get out of bed and try to read or some other calm activity. When someone is forcing their body to sleep, it can actually make slumber more elusive. By intensely focusing on the act of sleeping it becomes more of a brain activity than a natural descend into slumber. Other natural ways to get a better-quality sleep include:
Avoiding alcohol and caffeine
Limiting liquid intake before sleep
Behavioral therapy is not the only way for seniors to find slumber. There are sleep-inducing aids you can ingest that are non-pharmaceutical.
Natural sleep aids can help seniors fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. However, with any supplements added to the daily regime, always have your primary doctor verify it is safe for you. The following is a list of some of the most commonly recommended natural sleep remedies.
- Melatonin supplements are generally regarded as safe for seniors as melatonin is already naturally produced in the body. Specific medication may have an adverse reaction, so be sure to check with your primary care doctor before using. This hormone helps the body regulate sleep cycles and balance other hormones. Melatonin is produced in the dark and production is inhibited during the day. Supplements of this hormone are generally used for jet lag, insomnia, and other sleeping disorders.
- Valerian Root is often used to ease anxiety and insomnia. This root can be brewed as a tea or ingested in supplement-form.
- Magnesium is commonly found throughout the body in conjunction with heart health and brain function. Studies have found magnesium linked with Melatonin production; it has a relaxing effect on the body. When in a supplement form, magnesium has shown to aid seniors in sleeping naturally.
- Lavender is a common plant that is widely used all over the world. This purple flower possesses a fragrance which promotes relaxation and restful sleep. Lavender can be used in aromatherapy or ingested as a supplement. Utilizing the scent is generally safer for older adults as a natural sleeping aid.
There are various ways you can improve your overall quality of sleep that are non-pharmaceutical. Certain Behavioral Therapy habits can allow individuals to find restful slumber without any additives. If sleep is still elusive even with a nighttime routine in place, there are natural sleeping aids such as supplements and scents to ease you into a better night sleep. With better rest you can more adequately celebrate senior living every day!
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