Sleep peacefully this summer

Unfortunately, sleep is not something we can ‘bank’ and then draw upon when we don’t get enough. That’s why experts recommend most adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

However getting enough quality sleep can be a problem for many people over 50, particularly during the warmer months. This is for several reasons including medical conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis and the medications used to treat these. Other things that can interrupt a good night’s sleep include anxiety, depression, a snoring partner or even a room that is too hot.

What you can do
If good sleep is eluding you, try some of these tips to improve the quality of your sleep:

  • Aim to go to bed at the same time each night and wake at the same time each day

  • Limit napping to no more than 30 minutes. Any longer and it may interfere with your night-time sleep

  • Exercise regularly. Walking for 20 to 30 minutes every day will help you sleep better at night but don’t exercise close to bedtime

  • Spend time outdoors. People who get natural sunlight often sleep better at night

  • Avoid dietary stimulants such as caffeine, (found in tea, coffee, colas and chocolate)

  • Tobacco can make it difficult to get to sleep and alcohol can interfere with the quality of your sleep

  • Avoid stimulating activities before bed such as computer games, television, moderate exercise or even important or worrying discussions

  • Limit liquids before bedtime to avoid the need to use the toilet during the night.
  • Avoid going to bed hungry or too full

  • Engage in relaxing activities before bed such as taking a bath, drinking herbal tea or reading a book

  • Prepare a good sleep environment by ensuring the room is dark, cool (not cold), and has adequate ventilation. In summer, you may like to use a fan or an air-conditioner

  • Ensure your mattress and pillow support you properly, and wear comfortable sleepwear

  • If your partner snores, try to get to sleep before they do, as their snoring may not bother you so much if you've entered the deeper phase of sleep. 

Remember, if sleeping remains a problem for you or your partner, consult your doctor.

Do you have any helpful tips on how to sleep better during summer?