Drifting Off to Dreamland
Drifting off to dreamland . . . Isn’t that what we all hope for at the end a weary day – or even the end of an average day? Getting a decent night’s sleep is not as difficult as most people think. Establishing a bedtime schedule and/or routine is a comfortable way to take control of and enhance our wellness – regardless of our age, ability or physical strength. Having a consistent wake-up time and bedtime regardless of our age, ability or physical strength every day of the week . . . YES! That does include Friday night & Saturday night. Most people find once their routine is well established the next day and all of their tomorrows are more productive. Many people report they soon begin to feel better and think more clearly . . . Some people find their mood may be elevated, allowing for more energy throughout their entire day. Developing healthy sleep habits, does not mean you can’t ever stay up a little late (or even a lot late – on a special occasion). Nor do healthy sleep habits mean we may never need to get up a little earlier . . . Like if we wish to see the sunrise or the first day of a new job! You may also occasionally need to sleep in a little late . . . Like after you go out to celebrate for a special occasion or if you catch a cold. If you or a loved-one find going to sleep or staying asleep to be a little difficult (or tremendously difficult), or are sleeping too much, try some of these helpful hits: For adult/seniors:
1. 11. Brush your teeth soon after your evening meal or snack as the act of brushing and flossing, and the taste toothpaste or mouthwash may invigorate some people. 2. If you or a loved-one take evening/bedtime medication/s, ensure you are following medication instructions, exactly. If you are unsure of prescription or over the counter medication instructions, speak to your prescribing provider or pharmacist. If you find evening or bedtime medication invigorates or agitates you, rather than calming you, seek advice of your prescribing provider or pharmacist. 3. It is important to limit or cease screen-time (TV, tablet, computer, cell phone) for 30 to 60-minutes before bedtime. Making this adjustment over time, often in 15-minute increments – increasing every week or two, makes it a little easier to accept this change in how many of us live. 4. Try a long, calming bath or shower 60 to 90-minutes before bed (as long as you are not in a drought-stricken area of the nation or world). Use natural lavender products, like bath salts, shower balms, soaps or lotions for a calming effect – available online and in most grocery, discount or large box stores. 5. Many people enjoy a variety of herbal teas to aid in relaxation for bedtime – some teas are advertised as calming or for bedtime, Chamomile is always a good choice if you don’t know where to begin. 6. Be sure you wear appropriately sized, comfortable night clothes. Modesty is fine – but nothing tight or restrictive – think “your grandmother’s nightgown” or a caftan for both men and women. Guys, boxers or jammie pants are better than briefs. 7. Having a consistent wake-up time and bedtime regardless of our age, ability or physical strength every day of the week . . . YES! That does include Friday night & Saturday night. 8. Reading a calm story in an actual book; magazines, religious or spiritual book, history or poetry is often a great way to transition from daytime activity to a pleasant dream-state. But NO invigorating stories and nothing too exciting or scary. And NO screens or e-readers in bed – not even for reading! The blue light emitted from a screen can cause sleep disturbances for 2 to 3-hours after you put them down. 9. If reading an actual book isn’t your thing, you may enjoy 15 to 20-minutes of soothing music – many devices have timers. Many blue tooth hearing aides allow you to hear an audio book or music from your phone. 10. If music isn’t their thing or isn’t working – especially for folks like me who sometimes feel technology challenged – especially late in the day, Meditation APPs that simply require the push of a button on your phone or a variety of electronic devises. Again, including blue tooth hearing aids will work for this. Some AAPs are FREE, some have a small monthly or annual fee – be sure you know if or what you are paying for before you click install. (Meditation APPs generally have music, nature sounds, guided meditation and some even have bedtime stories.) If these tips are not successful and you continue to have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep (insomnia) or is sleeping way too much (hypersomnia), without a know cause, over an extended period of time, please make at appointment with your medical provider for information and age/wellness-appropriate assistance. For more information on Drifting Off to Dreamland and/or other Wellness Tips, use the CONTACT button or the Get Started Page.