Get Some Shuteye: Sleeping Tips for Seniors Around Daylight Saving Time
On Sunday, March 12, daylight saving time began, jumping all the clocks forward one hour. While the mornings may be darker, the sun will shine until later in the evening. This sudden time jump can be hard to get used to and lead to a disruption in your sleep schedule, but there are plenty of solutions to get back on track and back to your normal schedule.
It’s important to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. A consistent lack of sleep can cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and obesity. Also, poor sleep is linked to memory problems, forgetfulness, and more falls and accidents.
One of the best solutions to getting your sleep schedule back on track is to establish a routine. A routine can help signal to your body when it’s time to wind down, can help you create healthy habits and is helpful for people of all ages.
Here are some tips to help you create the best sleeping habits this daylight saving time:
- Participate in physical activity or exercise daily. At Solstice, we encourage a Vibrant Life® that is filled with wellness and adventure to get moving and stay active.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This can help establish an important routine for your natural circadian rhythms that your body depends on for long, restful sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime. Both alcohol and caffeine can disrupt your sleep schedule, especially when consumed right before bedtime.
- Create a relaxation routine to wind down and relax. Read a book, do a word search, or listen to soothing music. Solstice’s Path to Wellness program encourages individuals to spend time meditating and being still every day. A relaxation routine is helpful in beginning to carve out time in your day for mindfulness.
- Turn off the television an hour before bed. Watching television before bedtime can also disrupt your body, by providing too much stimulation when your body is trying to wind down naturally.
- Open the curtains first thing in the morning. This can help your body wake up more naturally and start your day off with a dose of vitamin D.
- Get out of bed and drink a cool glass of water to wake up. Drinking a glass of water can help stimulate your organs in a natural and healthy way, with the rest of your body waking up as well.
Want a trick for relaxing at bedtime? Try this …
Think about wiggling your toes and then letting them be still. Roll your ankles and let them rest, too. Then, continue working your way all the way to your head. Lie still and allow every part of your body to relax. Our bodies hold a lot more tension than we realize.
Following these tips will help your body adjust more quickly and get back to your normal sleep schedule.
Want more helpful tools to build a healthier life? At Solstice Senior Living, we provide tools and help you maintain a purposeful, social and healthy lifestyle through our Path to Wellness program.