Boosting Sleep Quality For 50+: Tips and Tricks For A Better Night's Rest

Boosting Sleep Quality For 50+: Tips and Tricks For A Better Night's Rest

Getting enough quality sleep is essential for your health. Lack of sleep can seriously impact your physical and mental well-being. In fact, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night to function at their best. And, children under 12 years old need more than 10 hours of sleep every night. It’s important to understand that sleep isn’t the same for everyone - it’s different for everyone. Even the same person can experience different amounts of sleep at different times of the day. However, according to the nationwide research team on the quality of sleep (19FA0901), sleep quality is superior to sleep quantity as an index for assessing sleep, and that restfulness obtained through sleep is a useful index for assessing sleep quality.

What Is Sleep Quality

Sleep quality is defined as an individual's self-satisfaction with all aspects of the sleep experience. The quality of your sleep affects how you feel, look, and perform the following day. In other words, poor sleep quality can cause serious, even life-threatening health problems. There are many factors that can affect your sleep quality. For example, stress, medications, illness, certain foods, too much exercise, or alcohol intake can all affect your quality of sleep.

Why Quality Sleep Is Important

Sleep is when your body repairs itself, removes toxins, and keeps your hormones in check. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re not doing any of this. In addition, sleep is when your brain can be the most creative and solve problems. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re missing out on all of this.

As you age your body produces lower levels of growth hormone, so you'll likely experience a decrease in slow wave or deep sleep (an especially refreshing part of the sleep cycle). When this happens you produce less melatonin, meaning you'll often experience more fragmented sleep and wake up more often during the night.

Therefore, if you find yourself struggling to nod off or falling asleep easily at night, here are some tips and tricks you can use to improve your sleep quality in no time:

Exercise regularly

Working out regularly has numerous benefits, including a better quality of sleep. A study published in the journal Sleep found that participants who exercised regularly reported a better quality of sleep than those who didn’t. Exercising also helped participants fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Therefore, exercise can help improve sleep quality by improving your mood and lowering stress levels. If you don’t already exercise, start slowly - try to build up to 30 minutes of activity 4-5 times a week. If you’re an athlete, don’t push yourself too hard when you first start exercising. In fact, it’s often a good idea to do some light exercise the day before a game or competition so that your body has time to recover from the workout.

Don’t watch TV or use devices an hour before bed

According to a study published in the journal Sleep Health, individuals who watched TV or used devices an hour before bed were more likely to experience poor sleep quality. Therefore, if you watch TV or use electronics an hour before bed, skip it. Have a bedtime ritual. This can help you relax and destress. Try reading, meditating, journaling, or listening to soothing music. If you struggle with insomnia, you may need to avoid specific things to improve your quality of sleep. Avoiding stimulants, caffeine, and alcohol can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Stop caffeinated drinks 2 hours before bed

Similar to TV and electronics, caffeinated drinks can keep you awake. These drinks include coffee, energy drinks, and cocoa. Excess caffeine can cause insomnia and make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Excess caffeine is especially harmful when you drink it too close to bedtime, as it may disrupt your sleep hormone levels. Many people mistake caffeine for an ingredient found in food rather than a drug, so they believe they’re eating a nutrient. This could lead to a bad habit of consuming caffeine unnecessarily and negatively impacting your sleep quality. If you consume caffeinated drinks regularly, avoid 2 hours before bed.

Keep a wind-down routine before sleep

Avoid intense exercise 3-4 hours before bed. Exercising too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep hormones. The same goes for intense workouts, reading, or doing other mental activities.

Eat dinner earlier

Food intake has a major impact on your sleep quality. Too much food consumed too close to bedtime isn’t digested properly, which could lead to restless sleep. If you eat dinner late at night (11 pm or later), your blood sugar will be low and you may find it difficult to fall asleep. Instead, have a carbohydrate-rich snack, like fruit, grains, or nuts, 2-3 hours before bed. If you’re a heavy drinker, cut back on alcohol consumption. Alcohol has a negative effect on sleep, and heavy drinking can impair your sleep quality.

Conclusion

Getting enough sleep is essential for your health, mood, and well-being. However, many people don’t get enough sleep. If you struggle with poor sleep quality, try implementing these tips. Remember, it may take some trial and error before you find what works best for you. However, with a little effort, you may be able to achieve better sleep quality in no time.