Getting a good night’s sleep does more for us than resting our bodies. It’s also essential for the consolidation of our memories. So if you’re having trouble remembering things, you may not be getting enough good sleep. It’s true that many seniors have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for a full night of rest (which is usually considered about seven to nine solid hours). But that doesn’t mean those sleep problems are normal. In order to avoid sleep-related memory decline, you may need to prioritize good nights of rest and change some of your habits. Here are some things to try:
- Make your bedroom darker, quieter, cooler, less cluttered, and more comfortable.
- Dim the lights at least an hour before bedtime.
- Wake up and go to bed at the same times every day.
- Adjust your bedtime schedule to align with when you actually feel sleepy.
- Reduce or eliminate your consumption of caffeine, especially after noon.
- Avoid drinking alcohol in the hours leading up to bedtime.
- Turn off the TV, computer, and any other backlit screen-based electronics an hour or more before bedtime.
- Go outside or enjoy a sunlit room during the day to get at least a couple hours of sunshine.
- Wear earplugs or sleep in a separate room if your significant other has a snoring problem.
if these simple steps don’t work, you might need to look deeper into what’s causing your sleep to disrupted. Be sure to talk to your doctor and treat any health problems and possibly adjust your medications. Reducing stress, watching what you eat, and getting regular exercise can all contribute to better nights of rest, too!