Guide to Better Sleep this Winter

Research has proven that babies need an average of 16 to 20 hours of sleep per day. As we age, this decreases dramatically. Most adults- even seniors- need an average of 7 to 9 hours of rest. While the amount of sleep we need does not change, the quality does.

There are several things that can impact the quality of sleep we are getting:

  • Natural aging process
  • Medications
  • Health conditions
  • Stress
If you are in or near Colorado Springs and are in need of affordable in-home senior care services, contact Gentle Shepherd Home Care. We offer Respite Care, Recovery Care, Support Care, and more.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can get better sleep this winter.

5 Tips to Get Better Sleep

Below are 5 tips that seniors can use to get better sleep this winter.

Determine the Cause of Sleep Issues

As mentioned, sometimes, the natural aging process can impact the quality and amount of sleep you get. However, there are several other issues that may cause sleep problems and, many times, the problem must be treated at its root. In some cases, sleep disruptions are due to medical issues. Therefore, you may want to consult with your medical provider to find a solution.

Sometimes, medications could be causing your irregular sleep patterns or insomnia. If this is the case, you’ll want to discuss this with your medical provider to find out if there is an alternative.

Finally, stress may also cause sleep issues. In this case, you may want to consider speaking with a therapist.

Establish a Routine

This may sound crazy- but just as children have a bedtime routine, adults need one as well. After all, the combination of age and winter can impact sleep habits and the best way to deal with this is with a steady bedtime routine.

Research shows that the best way to get quality sleep during the winter is by taking a warm bath before bed, having a cup of tea, and/or cozying up in your bed. These should be done every night at the same time. By establishing and maintaining a routine, you prepare your mind and body for bed. In addition, consider meditating or practicing other de-stress activities such as deep breathing or yoga before going to bed. Finally, try to maintain a regular wake-up time as well. Set an alarm if you need to so that you wake up at the same time every morning, no matter what you have to do that day.

Create an Environment that Encourages Sleep

Your bedroom should be a serene oasis. Regardless of the season, a supportive mattress and pillows are critical. In winter, you have the heater on, which dries out the air. When the air is dry, it can cause your skin to be dry, as well as cause you to snore, cough, and wake up throughout the night.

You can solve this issue with a steamer or humidifier. Ideally, your sleep environment should be around 65° F.

Consider Your Diet

The foods that you eat throughout the day- especially those that you eat shortly before bedtime- impact your ability to fall asleep as well as the overall quality of your sleep.

A balanced diet high in fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins is ideal for getting a good night’s sleep. You can have a snack before bed, but ideally, it should be something healthy such as edamame, pumpkin seeds, fruit, or a protein smoothie.

Be Active Throughout the Day

Research has proven that physical activity has a positive impact on sleep. In fact, moderate-intensity workouts 3 to 4 times a week can significantly improve sleep patterns.

Unfortunately, the colder temperatures of winter make it difficult to stay active. The weather keeps us indoors and since the pandemic is still a concern, going to an enclosed studio may not be an option. However, there are some things you can do at home including planks, hip rotations, walking in place, wall push-ups, and more.

In Home Care Colorado Springs

Adults need an average of 7 to 9 hours of rest each night. Unfortunately, there are several things that can impact the amount and quality of sleep we get. These tips can help you get better sleep this winter.

If you need quality in-home care in the Colorado Springs area, contact Gentle Shepherd Home Care. We will be happy to do a visit and show you what we can offer you.  
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