At every age, restful sleep is essential for overall health and wellness. As you get older, it can be difficult to maintain a circadian rhythm that allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. When you can’t sleep through the night, it can start to affect your interpersonal relationships, your focus, and your ability to complete simple tasks, not to mention, your overall enjoyment of life. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to improve your sleep habits to help you get back to the sleep that you need and deserve. Here are 6 sleep aids that can help you get a better night’s sleep.
If you’re struggling to sleep through the night, the first thing you should examine is your current sleep set up. Sometimes, all you need is a quick refresh. Pillows, like mattresses, can start to lose their structural integrity over time, especially with frequent use. If your pillows are relatively new, it might be worth investing in therapeutic pillows. Different shapes of pillows, such as a u-shaped pillow or a body pillow can help to add support to whatever position you sleep in. This can relieve pressure and pain that make sleep difficult.
It is common for people to experience more aches and pains as you get older and this tends to lead to more difficulties finding comfortable beds and mattresses on your body. Adjustable beds are useful for helping to mitigate these pains and help you customize your sleeping positions in order to alleviate pains that can occur on static beds. These beds are particularly useful for people suffering from sleeping disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Here you can find a comprehensive review of the best adjustable beds.
Another common interrupter of sleep is overheating or sweating during the night. Sheets made out of materials such as eucalyptus or bamboo are more breathable than traditional cotton, allowing your body to get more airflow during the night. This can help to lower your body temperature and keep you cool. Similarly, cooling pajamas can provide some of the same benefits. Use them both for a cooling sleep sanctuary conducive to restful sleep.
The connection between poor sleep quality and mental health is well documented. It’s a vicious cycle: anxiety or depression can lead to poor sleep, which in turn, leads to worse mental health. If you struggle with racing thoughts at night, a white noise machine can be a soothing way to quiet your brain at night. Some companies even make high-tech “sleep assistants”, which combine white noise makers with daylight alarms and other sleep-aid technology. If these feel out of your price range, there are plenty of white-noise apps for your smartphone, many of which are free. However, you should be careful using your phone too much for bed, as it can contribute to poor sleep quality.
How is the quality of the air in your room? Many people forget that the quality of the very air that we breathe has a major impact on the way that we sleep. If the ventilation in your home is poor (or nonexistent), it may be time to invest in an air purifier for your sleep space. Along the same lines, if your room is too dry or too humid, it might be causing health or breathing problems that make consistent sleep nearly impossible. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help you bring balance to your airflow, creating the optimal environment for a healthy night of sleep.
If all else fails or you need a little extra help at night, there are plenty of non-habit forming sleep aids that can cause you to become drowsy or relaxed. Many of these, such as valerian, lavender, or melatonin, are sold at natural food stores or in the supplement aisle at your local grocery store, so they are easy to come by. They are non-narcotic, so they should not interfere or interact negatively with any medication you might take. As always, safety is a top priority, so if you plan to consume a supplement, please check with your doctor ahead of time to ensure it is safe.