Better Sleep – Better Life

Cat, Mackerel, Cats Maul, Yawn, Relaxed

Hi friends.

How are your sleep patterns?  When we get better sleep we have a better life. Doctors recommend 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Some people have trouble falling asleep; others fall asleep; but awaken very early in the morning.  Some people seem to have less of the deeper sleep. If we aren’t getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours sleep, we may suffer the consequences.

When we were young, we slept, well,…like a baby. We could sleep anywhere and anytime, with no problem at all, and not a care in the world.

Baby, Boy, Child, Cute, Expression, Face

As we get older, many of us develop insomnia, or difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  There can be many causes.  With aging we may be sleeping lighter or we may awaken often.  We may have trouble falling asleep in the first place.  We could be suffering from bladder or prostate problems that cause us to awake frequently during the night for trips to the bathroom .  Sometimes medications, that we are taking, could be causing sleep disturbances. Certain physical conditions can sometimes interfere with our sleep. Taking sleep medications is risky business because of the side effects and they often don’t work.  I will suggest some alternatives to taking sleeping pills below.

Man, Person, Sleep, Park Bench, Homeless

Simple behavioral changes can often improve the quantity and quality of our sleep.

Behavioral changes that may help insomnia:

  • Avoid large meals close to bedtime
  • Refrain from caffeine 6 hours before bed
  • Avoid smoking close to bedtime
  • Exercise 3 to 4 hours before bedtime
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Go to bed at approximately the same time every night
  • Refrain from naps any longer than a half an hour
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine

Example of bedtime routine:  bathing or washing face, etc.; brushing teeth and hair; light snack, reading, prayer or meditation, etc.

Brush, Oral, Care, Clean, Dental

Let’s explore some things that can cause insomnia.

  • Certain medications, herbs or supplements
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Lack of or not enough exercise
  • Pain
  • Natural aging changes
  • Frequent urination
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Sleep disorders

Sleep Disorders:

  • Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?  Sleep apnea is a disorder characterised by episodes of brief awakenings because of not being able to breathe properly.  These episodes result from complete or partial occlusion of the airway, which results in snoring, gasps for breath or brief periods of not being able to breathe.  This can happen hundreds of times during the night.  The episodes cause a drop in blood oxygen levels and disrupted sleep, when the body awakens briefly, so that we can resume breathing.

Causes of Sleep Apnea:  Sleep apnea is caused when the upper airway is obstructed or collapses.  Being overweight, or loss of muscle tone due to aging are the major causes.  The muscle relaxation found in dream or REM sleep, may also contribute.  It may occur more often when someone is sleeping on their back.  Also there are times that the brain doesn’t stimulate breathing.

Sleep apnea can have major health consequences and can be life-threatening. Excessive daytime sleepiness may cause you to fall asleep while driving.  People who suffer from sleep apnea may have an increased risk of:  irregular heartbeat, coronary heart disease, heart failure or heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, heartburn and reflux, RLS (restless leg syndrome), PLMS, (periodic limb movement), concentration and memory problems, erectile dysfunction, stroke or TIA’s, depression or sudden death.

Sundress, Summer Dress, Girl, Woman

  • RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?  Sufferers of RLS have intense discomfort in their legs, often described as a creepy crawly sensation. They feel a need to keep moving, repositioning legs, or a desire to get up and walk around to relieve the discomfort.  This often hinders their ability to fall asleep.

  • PLMD – Periodic Limb Movement

What is Periodic Limb Movement?  People who have PLMD experience rythmic movement of legs or arms during sleep.  These movements typically occur every 20 to 40 seconds. The sleeping person may not even know this is happening.  Bed fellows describe the movements as kicking or thrashing of the legs or arms.

Suggested home treatments for RLS or PLMD:  Soak legs in a warm bath before bed.  Exercise legs regularly.

If you have insomnia, I hope the behavioral changes I have suggested will help you attain better sleep, and in turn a better life.  I wish for you all to have blissful sleep and sweet dreams tonight and every night.

Thank you for reading.  I love comments.  You may use the comment section below to leave a comment or ask questions.

Stop by again sometime.  I love company!  Sweet dreams.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

Disclaimer:  I am not a physician.  This post is for information only.  It is not meant for the purpose of diagnosing insomnia or sleep disorders.  Please see your family physician if you have any symptoms mentioned and before embarking on alternative methods for dealing with insomnia.

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Better Sleep – Better Life

  1. Something I’ve been lacking of late is enough sleep. I just feel like I have so much to do that even when I try to sleep I can’t. I’m not interested in taking any medications for sleep, as these all have side effects. Maybe something natural, or training my brain to stop thinking when I go to bed. Your article offers some good tips and I’ll definitely give them a try. Thanks.

    • Hi Darren.

      Thanks for commenting. I hope you found something helpful in post. That’s why I write them. 🙂

      I know. Sometimes I get so caught up in what I am doing, either on my website or on Wealthy Affiliate Community site that I stay up much too late. I know I should be keeping a regular bedtime and I try; but I don’t always succeed. But when I do go to bed, I turn on the Bible app on my phone and I usually go right to sleep.

      It is the quality of my sleep that is not great. My neck and back and sometimes hips get painful and I have to wake up and turn to the other side. And since I am waking up more frequently, it requires more trips to the bathroom.

      I hope you come back again soon. I love company. 🙂

      At your service,

      Jeannie

  2. Hi Jeannie

    Great information you have provided for retirees and any age level in fact. I recently was introduced to sleep apnea by a friend. I don’t have any problems sleeping myself, but is great that you are helping people with their sleep patterns. A great nights sleep provides a great day ahead. Thanks for sharing and I will return from time to time to review what’s new.

    Dave

    • Hi Dave.

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope that all the posts I have writen will be of help to someone.

      Please do stop by again. I love company.

      I am trying to add at least one new post a week. So there is usually something new.

      Jeannie

  3. 23 years old here. Don’t know if its stress or just me being an idiot and not being able to clear my head at night, but sometimes I’ll have problems hitting the hay at the end of the night. Reading up on the stuff that might cause insomnia made me cringe lols

    Sleep well people, it’s essential for your health, even if it’s only 4 hours of good sleep.

    • Hi Darren. Thanks for commenting. Though this site’s focus is retirees. I love visitors of all ages. You don’t have to be a senior to have sleep problems.

      I am sorry you sometimes have trouble falling asleep. I hope some of the suggestions were helpful. I need to establish better sleep patterns myself. As we age our quality of sleep suffers. It is even more important to get the required hours.

      Come back again. I post at least one new post a week. So there will be something new to read.

      Have a wonderful day!

      At your service,

      Jeannie

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