Ahhh, sleep. A time of rest and rejuvenation, when our minds and bodies can recuperate from the events of the day. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our overall health and well-being.

As we age, it’s important to develop healthy sleep habits. Because a chronic lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep increase your risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and obesity. Sleep issues are also linked to memory problems, forgetfulness, and more falls or accidents.

What can you do to sleep better?

  • Don’t exercise within 3 hours of your bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine for at least 3 or 4 hours before bed.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • No TV, computers, or digital devices in the bedroom.
  • Don’t drink alcohol in the late evening, it can make you wake up in the middle of the night.
  • Resist the urge to take long naps in the late afternoon or evening. 30 minutes, tops.

It’s been 20 minutes, and I still can’t sleep…

Try this. Get out of bed and do a quiet, relaxing activity like reading or listening to music. When you feel sleepy go back to bed and give it another whirl. If you’re not lights out in 20 minutes, repeat.