10 Steps To Improve Sleep
Posted by Simple Promise on
As we age, it's natural to start worrying about our heart health, especially if we've had family members who have suffered from heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. The danger is letting this worry rob you of your sleep!
Sleep is a crucial ingredient to excellent heart health. Luckily, there are many things you can do to prevent clogged arteries while still getting your 7-8 hours of sleep.
Here are 10 things seniors can do every day to promote great sleep hygiene and reduce their risk of dangerous heart disease:
1. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
Junk food can not only clog up your arteries but also disrupt your brain from shutting down and helping you sleep through the night. Seniors should aim to include heart-healthy foods like salmon, nuts, and dark chocolate in their diet as well.
2. Get Regular Exercise
Seniors should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. This can include activities like walking, biking, swimming, or yoga. When you exercise, your body creates endorphins that allow you to sustain natural happiness and energy that also promote good sleep at night.
3. Manage Stress
Stress can contribute to heart disease by increasing blood pressure and causing inflammation in the body. Try to eliminate stressors so you’re not stirring awake at night when you should be getting restful sleep.
4. Quit Smoking
Tobacco can have horrible effects on getting high-quality REM sleep. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but there are many resources available to help seniors quit, including nicotine replacement therapy, support groups, and counseling.
5. Monitor Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
Seniors should regularly monitor their blood pressure and cholesterol levels to ensure they are within a healthy range – if not, they may lead to sleep apnea or other sleep problems.
6. Stay Socially Active
Social isolation can contribute to poor heart health, as well as depression and other mental health conditions. Seniors who have a good social network experience better sleep.
7. Get To Bed Early
Seniors should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. The best way to do this is to wind down your night early and block out any noise or light.
8. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Seniors should limit their alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, especially as alcohol can cause you to sleep very poorly.
9. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese can contribute to clogged arteries and heart disease, as well as respiratory problems like sleep apnea.
10. Take Medications as Directed
Seniors who are prescribed medications for heart-related conditions should take them as directed by their healthcare provider, as failing to regularly take medications or supplements can disrupt sleep.
You can get a great night of sleep that will also help you take care of your heart. With these 10 steps in mind, cross a few off your list each day and you’ll be well on your way to a strong, healthy heart.