Sleep Tips For Adults (20 to 60)

January 7, 2009

in Adults, Sleeping Tips

It’s not uncommon for adults to experience sleep loss, but it’s also not impossible to fix the problem. We’ve compiled a few “can’t sleep” tips for drowsy adults.

Can’t sleep again? You’re not alone! Studies show that at least half of the population will experience some form of insomnia during lifetime. While insomnia is slightly more common in children, it tends to last longer in adults. While a single day of stress may result in the loss of a single night’s sleep for a child, adults tend to carry that stress over. And it’s not just stress that causes us to lose sleep. More than any other age group, older adults lose sleep because of medical conditions like obesity or depression.

The good news is that the majority of adults that can’t sleep are experiencing acute or short-term insomnia. These bouts of sleeplessness are not only temporary but are also highly treatable. Here is just a short list of our “can’t sleep” tips for adults:

Avoid any foods or drinks that affect your body chemistry. This includes caffeine, alcohol, processed sugars, and even nicotine. Each of these substances affects your body’s ability to regulate sleep. While alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, your ability to maintain deep sleep could be compromised, or you could oversleep which in many cases is just as harmful as sleep deprivation and which can also encourage depression. If you have to have your caffeine fix, then have it during the day. Try to choose a more sleep-friendly alternative at night like caffeine-free tea or a glass of warm milk.

Prep your bedroom. Use blinds or dark curtains on your windows, burn candles of a soothing scent, make sure the room temperature is comfortable… Do whatever it takes to make your bedroom a temple of relaxation.

Keep your bed sleep-specific. For many adults their bed remains a comfort zone, but if you talk in your bed, read in your bed, watch TV in your bed, work in your bed, etc you stop associating it specifically with sleep which may make it hard for you to relax when you climb under the covers at the end of the night. Put a desk or chair in your room if it helps, but from now on the only thing you should be doing in your bed is sleeping.

Cut back on naps. We know that for some adults it’s hard to get all the sleep you need in one go, but napping during the day can make it hard to maintain deep sleep at night. Instead of napping for an hour during the day, use that extra hour to get everything done quicker and then go to bed early.

Know when you need more. If you find yourself spacing out during work, church, or school and if you find yourself dozing off during downtime then you’re definitely not getting enough sleep! Too many adults have bought into the myth that they can get by on six hours or less when in truth most adults still need at least seven to ten hours of sleep.

While small bouts of sleep loss are common, you need to know when to see a doctor. If you are experiencing long-term sleep loss, are not reaching the deep sleep stage, or are having trouble sleeping for more than an hour or two at a time, then it’s time to call your doctor. Also, if you feel so tired that it is affecting your ability to think or function then you may have an underlying medical condition that deserves immediate attention.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea October 29, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I cut out cafeeine before 3pm. Since cafeeine stays in womens systems far longer than it does in mens. That seems to help a lot. But other than that. These tips don’t really help me.

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Sharon January 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm

My husband is unable to stay asleep.1 1/2 yrs. ago he gave up drinking and since has not had a full nights sleep.It is affecting him as well as the whole family.Stress is also a factor.Please we need any ideas that may be effective,without using any addicting forming drugs.

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