Here at the independent living seniors’ community, the Earl Haig Retirement Residence in beautiful Coquitlam, we are always ready and willing to lend support with handy tips for health and wellness! Now that spring is getting into full gear, there’s no better time to aim for wellbeing!
Almost everyone struggles with sleep issues of some sort at one time or another. But when we get older, senior sleep problems can present even more health issues. So enjoy these tips to not only help you have a good sleep, but to improve even your digestion and overall health!
Avoid bright lights at night. Senior sleep patterns naturally want to align with when the sun rises and sets. If you can safely do so, use only low lighting after the sun has set. Lights after dark overstimulate the nervous system making it harder to fall asleep when the time comes, and takes a toll on the immune system and digestion.
COMPUTER & TV
A common culprit of senior sleep problems. The radiation and light frequencies from the screens can overstimulate the brain as well. If you cannot do without TV at night (who can!?), reducing the screen brightness during evening hours will help.
You may have noticed that some electronics carry a bit of a buzz when they’re left plugged in, even though they’re not in use. Sometimes this buzz is barely perceivable, but it can affect our subconscious. Unplugging ‘buzzy’ electronics can help, plus, those little red lights won’t disturb your much-needed darkness!
Moving the body, whether joining recreational exercises, or simply going for a walk you can manage every day, greatly benefits the body’s endorphins, boosts the immune system, calms the restless mind, and helps your senior sleep be deeper and more restorative.
FOOD & DRINK
Properly absorbing the nutrients from your food is essential in keeping your body healthy, and aiding a restorative sleep. Drinking water with, or right before or after your meal, dilutes the stomach acid and decreases the effectiveness of your digestive power. If you must drink with your meal, drink something that has something in it to digest, like a hot beverage, or milk, etc. If you drink a good amount of water one hour before and one hour after your meal, this hydrates the body and increases digestive health.
Avoid eating heavy meals too late. After 7 pm, stick to very light snacks. Your body needs to use its energy at night to repair itself. When it uses its energy to digest, the repairs don’t happen properly.
Avoid stimulants after nightfall. It may be tempting, but many senior sleep problems arise from consuming caffeinated beverages, chocolate, spicy foods, and believe it or not, apples!
A fun tip, after a meal, laying down on your left side for ten minutes helps to aid digestion, especially if you feel you’ve eaten too much or your meal didn’t agree with you.
Stress and anxiety can also contribute to senior sleep problems. By developing trusting and amiable friendships with others increases the quality of our lives and decreases anxiety. Revealing our minds in confidence helps to release pent-up thoughts. Being kind to others increases our happiness and well-being, which benefits our health overall.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Where attention goes, energy flows. None of us can escape the inherent struggles of this world, but we all certainly have a lot to be grateful for in this beautiful country. Thoughts are like seeds, water the ones that you want to grow. The more you are thankful for the blessings in your life, the more positive energy you welcome into your life. If you’re having a hard time finding things to be thankful for, confide in a friend and maybe they’ll have an objective view of the things in your life you may count as blessings. This decreases anxiety and aids in a night of more restful sleep.
Enjoy the beautiful weather out there! Let the rain feed the forest, and wash away your worries! Let the sunshine bloom all the blossoms and your hearts!
Take care of yourselves! We wish you a solid healing and restorative sleep!
And if you dream that you might want to come visit us at Earl Haig to see if our community is the place for you, give us a call at 604 937 3790 for more information or to book a tour – we’ll be delighted to show you around!
Author – Jennifer, Administrator/Earl Haig Retirement Residence