After you and your doctor have treated any health problems related to your , there are many steps you can take to improve your sleep. Here are few examples:
- Avoid or limit caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Don't use them at all late in the day or in the evening.
- Check all of your medicines with your doctor to see if they could be affecting your sleep. To help avoid sleep problems, you may be able to adjust your dose or change the time of day you take your medicine.
- Use the evening hours for settling down.
- Make exercise a regular part of your life, but don't do it within 3 to 4 hours of bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. Try using a sleep mask and earplugs to help you sleep.
For more tips on how to improve your sleep, see:
- Insomnia: Improving your sleep.
- Sleep problems: Dealing with jet lag.
- Shift Work Sleep Disorder.
Sleep tips for older adults
Older adults, especially those living in nursing homes or who are cared for by others, often have ongoing sleep problems. It's natural for your sleep patterns to change as you get older, but it doesn't mean that you need less sleep or that the sleep you do get is enough.
There are things you can do to cope with changing sleep patterns as you get older, such as having familiar evening and nighttime routines.
Treatment if sleep problems don't get better
Be sure to talk to your doctor if your sleep problem gets worse, if it lasts for more than 2 weeks, or if your symptoms become more severe or happen more often.