Our sleeping patterns naturally change as we get older, so it’s not unusual to have trouble sleeping. This means that many of us can struggle to get to sleep or stay asleep, leaving us tired and grumpy the following day.
Chronic sleep problems should not be regarded as either an inevitable, or a normal part of the ageing process.
Experts agree that practising good ‘sleep hygiene’ can make an important contribution to getting a good night’s sleep. This is just another way of saying that you need to get into good habits:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day
- Avoid lying in
- Establish a bedtime routine – relax by reading a book or having a bath
- Make sure that your bed and bedding are comfortable
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the evening
- Don’t eat a heavy meal late at night
- Avoid exercise in the evening
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark – the ideal bedroom temperature is 18°C
- Ban TV and computers from the bedroom – the bright light can make you more awake
- Try to avoid napping during the day. If you do enjoy a daytime nap, schedule this for roughly the same time each day.