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The National Institute on Aging (NIA) says that, older adults need roughly the same amount of sleep as all adults—7 to 9 hours each night. But, in the cases of many older adults, this is not reality due to variables such as chronic pain, sickness, or even medication.
The NIA offers some tips to get a good night’s sleep:
1. Follow a regular sleep schedule.
Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when you are traveling.
2. Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening, if you can.
Naps may keep you awake at night.
3. Develop a bedtime routine.
Take time to relax before bedtime each night. Some people read a book, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath.
4. Try not to watch television or use your computer, cell phone, or tablet in the bedroom.
The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. And alarming or unsettling shows or movies, like horror movies, may keep you awake.
5. Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
Make sure it is not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
6. Use low lighting in the evenings.
Continue to use them as you prepare for bed.
7. Exercise at regular times each day.
Avoid exercising within 3 hours of your bedtime.
8. Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime.
Both of these things can keep you awake.
9. Stay away from caffeine late in the day.
Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate) can keep you awake.
10. Remember—alcohol won’t help you sleep.
Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.