Tips for better sleep

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We’d all like to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day but for many of us, getting enough sleep (or enough good quality sleep) is a challenge. There are plenty of health benefits that come with getting enough shut-eye, including better cognitive function and mood, and the US National Sleep Foundation recommends that older adults (65+) get between seven and eight hours per night.

So, what can you do to get into a healthy sleep routine? Here are a few practical suggestions…

Think about what (and when) you drink
Too much caffeine too close to bedtime is the enemy of sleep, so try to have your last cup of tea or coffee about six hours before you go to bed. Alcohol is another culprit – although it might make you sleepy at first, it’s likely to disrupt your sleep during the night. So, if you enjoy a glass of wine in the evening, try to have it a few hours before bedtime. Lastly, if you find that you have to go to the bathroom a few times each night, reduce your liquid intake a few hours before bed.

Create a bedtime ritual
Consistency is key, so set yourself a regular bedtime and stick with it. Then, in the hour before you go to bed, try to do things that will help to get you into a calm state of mind. These may include having a relaxing shower or doing some gentle stretching.

Ditch your devices
Avoid spending time on your laptop, tablet or smartphone before bed – or worse, while you’re in bed. The blue light emitted from these devices can keep you awake and disrupt your sleep.

Make your bedroom a calming and inviting space
Take some time to make your bedroom a relaxing area that helps you to feel calm. Invest in some good quality bedding, keep the room clear of any clutter, and use soft lighting before bed.