Sleep tips: Avoid afternoon coffee, over 50s advised.
People over 50 are being advised to avoid caffeine after lunchtime to get a good night’s sleep.
The BBC reports that a report for the charity Age UK says sleeping soundly gets harder as we age but getting enough rest is important to keep mentally sharp. It recommends older people get seven to eight hours of sleep a night and gives tips on how to achieve this. As well as avoiding tea and coffee, older people should keep daytime naps to shorter than half an hour.
Other tips include:
• Get up at the same time every day
• Expose yourself to natural sunlight during the daytime
• Don’t drink alcohol to help you to sleep
• Try to eat dinner about three hours before going to bed
• Don’t look at an electronic screen of any kind after you get into bed – tablet, phone, laptop, etc
• Avoid using over-the-counter sleep preparations
• Wear socks to keep your feet warm in bed
• Don’t sleep with pets in the bedroom
• Avoid arguments with spouse or partner before going to bed
The report was written by the Global Council on Brain Health report – a panel of experts convened by Age UK and the American Association of Retired Persons. As we age, our sleep patterns change, so we become more vulnerable to waking during the night and earlier in the morning. This is important because, in the long term, poor sleep increases the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, say the report authors.
James Goodwin from Age UK said: “Sleeping is something we all tend to take for granted, but we really have to wise up to the fact that getting the right amount of good sleep is crucial as we age, helping to protect us from all kinds of problems that can affect our brains as well as our bodies. “The message is that in order to stay mentally sharp in later life – something we all care passionately about – take care of your sleep.”
(Article source: BBC News)