If you want to get a good night’s sleep you should consider wearing bed-socks and avoiding alcohol to help you nod off.
That’s according to a new report, which states that being sufficiently rested is essential to maintaining a healthy brain and staying mentally sharp in later life.
The report, conducted by the Global Council on Brain Health offers tips to help over 50s get to sleep, but the advice could be helpful whatever your age.
According to the research, sleeping well becomes harder as we age. Our sleep patterns change, so we become more vulnerable to waking up during the night and earlier in the morning.
Feeling sluggish and under the weather is a common experience if we don’t sleep well, but there is less awareness of the fact that those of us who have chronic, inadequate sleep on a regular basis are at higher risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, fall-related injuries and cancer.
The report offers the following tips on how to improve your sleep quality:
Get up at the same time every day
Expose yourself to natural sunlight during the daytime
Don’t drink alcohol to help you to sleep
Try and eat dinner approximately three hours before going to bed
Don’t drink coffee (caffeine) after lunch time
Don’t look at an electronic screen of any kind after you get into bed - tablet, phone, laptop
Avoid using over the counter sleep preparations
Wear socks to keep your feet warm in bed
Don’t sleep with pets in the bedroom
Avoid arguments with spouse or partner before going to bed
Limit afternoon naps to less than 30 minutes
Commenting on the report, James Goodwin, chief scientist at Age UK, said: “Sleeping is something we all tend to take for granted, but we really have to wise up to the fact that getting the right amount of good sleep is crucial as we age, helping to protect us from all kinds of problems that can affect our brains as well as our bodies.”
Disturbances to sleep in older age can be environmental, such as the temperature of a bedroom, or related to lifestyle factors such as eating late or taking certain medications,’ the report explains.
Sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea are also more common in later life and ‘deep sleep’ decreases in adults between the ages of 30 to 60.