Thirteen Natural Ways to Fall Asleep Quickly

Do seniors find it more difficult to fall asleep than it was for us in our younger years?  Getting to sleep quickly is a common issue for seniors.

How long does it take you to fall asleep? The average time for seniors to fall asleep should be about 10 to 20 minutes. If we fall asleep much faster, we may be sleep-deprived. If we take much longer, we may find it difficult to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of slumber.

The scientific name for trouble falling asleep is sleep onset latency, and it affects the efficiency of our sleep. Falling asleep on schedule helps us to enjoy adequate amounts of the later stages of deep sleep. Otherwise, our sleep may be less refreshing as well as too brief.

The specific remedy may depend on what’s keeping us up at night. Experiment with these natural methods for falling asleep faster.

Changing Our Lifestyle

Our daily habits can have a big impact on what we experience at night. Adjusting our lifestyle could shorten sleep onset latency.  These strategies make it easier to fall asleep quickly:

1. Synchronize our schedule. Go to bed and wake up at regular times, even on weekends and holidays. We’ll be training our body and mind to develop a rhythm for when to become drowsy.

2. Eat lightly. Avoid eating foods high in calories or heavy on spices late in the day. If we want to snack, enjoy a piece of fruit or a warm glass of milk.

3. Use relaxation exercises. Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation are two popular methods for hastening sleep. It also helps to manage stress during the day and visualize pleasant images at bedtime.

4. Work out. Along with many other benefits, an active lifestyle enhances sleep. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week.

5. Forget the clock. Worrying about falling asleep can keep us awake longer. Resist the urge to keep checking what time it is.

6. Leave the room. If we’re unable to relax, we may want to get out of bed. Go to another room and do something boring

7. Limit alcohol and caffeine. Cut back on cocktails and coffee, especially in the later hours. Alcohol will interfere with the quality of our sleep. Coffee after about 2 pm may keep our alert hours later. 

8. Keep a journal. Sleep issues can have many different causes. Recording our habits in a journal could enable us to spot patterns and help us talk with our doctor if we need to explore medical reasons.

Checking Our Surroundings

9.  Block out the noise. Keep our bedroom quiet. Turn on a fan or a pink noise recording to block out loud neighbors and car alarms.

10.  Dim the lights. Darkness prepares our brains for sleep.      Hang heavy curtains in our bedroom or wear a sleep mask. On the other hand, morning light will help us wake up and feel drowsy later in the day.

11.  Adjust the temperature. Setting our bedroom thermostat to 60 to 67 degrees overnight is optimum for most adults. We may also feel sleepier after a warm bath or shower as our body cools down.

12.  Turn off our devices. Set a curfew on watching TV and browsing online. Shutting off electronic devices at least two hours before bed will minimize our exposure to bright screens and excess stimulation.

13. Check our bedding. How old is your mattress? Visit a sleep store for the latest in memory foam mattresses, weighted blankets, and other products that might work for us. Falling asleep quicker can increase the quantity and

If we continue to spend time tossing and turning, we might talk with our doctor if we need more assistance.

More information on senior sleep issues:

Sleep Foundation

BetterHealthWhileAging.net

Family Doctor.org

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