Published on October 24, 2018

Tips for getting a better night’s sleep

Is a good night’s sleep only in your dreams?

Restless seniorBut as we get older, a solid night’s sleep may be something we only dream about.

“Sleep patterns change as you add years,” says Robert Furia, MD, Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia physician. “It’s typically harder to nod off.” You also spend less time in deep dreamless sleep, which means you probably wake up more. 

But what doesn’t change as you age is your need for rest. “To stay healthy—and alert the next day—you still need the same seven to nine hours of sleep every night,” Dr. Furia says.

Try these tips to get the sleep you need

Stick to a sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, even on weekends.

Be active. Exercise can prime your body for sleep, as long as it’s not within three hours of your bedtime.

Steer clear of sleep stealers. Alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and heavy evening meals all disturb sleep. And if you’re having trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.

Relax with a routine before tucking in. You might try reading or listening to soothing music.

Turn off electronics. Try not to watch TV or use a computer, cellphone or tablet in your bedroom. The light they emit can make it hard to drift off to sleep.