3. Get on a schedule…and stick to it
Staying up later on the weekends is equally as damaging as trying to make up sleep on the weekends. Our bodies need a schedule…a consistent routine. Try to go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, allowing for the amount of rest you calculated, even on weekends. If your bedtime is 10 p.m. during the week, stick to that same time on the weekends.
4. Get your parent on a schedule…and stick to it
Just like your body needs a routine, so does your elderly parent’s. Set a schedule that you can stay close to every day. We set a routine and schedule for our kids as they were growing up, so try to do the same for elders. For kids and elders, a routine is comforting, predictable and encourages feelings of safety and relaxation. Make breakfast at about the same time every day. Schedule dinner, bath time, a relaxing pre-bed activity and bedtime for the same time every day.
5. Don’t misuse your bed
Use your bed for two purposes only: sleep and sex. If you continually use the bed for activities that are not conducive to sleep, like reading, watching television or eating, you may be tempted to pick up a book or reach for the remote when you should be settling down for sleep.
6. Turn off your mind
Worrying and constant stress are often the culprit of a sleepless night. Sometimes, your thoughts race and it seems impossible to “turn off your mind” long enough to fall asleep. Relaxation techniques, practiced on a regular basis, can help. Get in the habit of relaxing before you head to bed. Some techniques to try: a hot bath, gentle music, meditation or prayer.
11 Tips for the Best Sleep Ever originally appeared on AgingCare.com