"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

How to sleep through the night

Your sleep cycle changes as you age, but there are methods to be certain that you get a superb night's rest.

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Most men experience insomnia as they age. They have trouble falling asleep, waking up at night, after which going back to sleep.

What's keeping you?

Sleep is more essential as you age. Healthy sleep is related to higher cognitive function, lower rates of inflammation and heart disease, and higher resistance to viruses like influenza and the common cold.

On the opposite hand, individuals who sleep less have the next risk of dementia, depression, memory loss, confusion and anxiety. “It's simple: People who sleep better are healthier and live longer,” says Dr. Epstein.

Sleep occurs in a sequence of stages, including periods of sunshine sleep and deep sleep plus occasional periods of energetic dreaming, often called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This cycle is repeated several times in the course of the night. However, older people spend more time in the sunshine stages of sleep than in deep sleep. “When you're in the light stages, it's easier to wake up, which makes it harder to get back to sleep,” says Dr. Epstein.

Unfortunately, you'll be able to't change this latest sleep cycle, so the goal is to handle the problems that wake you up from light sleep. The commonest are sleep disorders, akin to insomnia, the necessity to urinate at night, and restless legs syndrome.

Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep and blocks the upper airway. This causes people to experience short pauses in respiration several times in the course of the night. Your bed partner can often help discover sleep deprivation. If you reside alone, search for symptoms akin to morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, and problems with concentration.

If you're thinking that you have got sleep apnea, see your doctor. You may have to learn to sleep ready that keeps your airway open. Another option is to make use of a continuous positive airway pressure device, which consists of a mask that's connected to a bedside machine via a tube. The machine blows air through a tube and places a mask over your airways to maintain your airways open whilst you sleep.

Nocturia Nocturia (waking to make use of the lavatory) disrupts the primary three to 4 hours of sleep, that are considered an important for recovery. “Do not drink any water or other beverages close to bedtime, as this may increase the need to urinate at night,” says Dr. Epstein.

Also, in the event you take diuretics (“water pills”) to manage hypertension, refer to your doctor about possibly adjusting your dose. If you continue to have problems with nocturia, it might be related to other conditions that require medical attention, akin to a bladder or urinary tract infection or an enlarged prostate.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). People with RLS experience a tingling, crawling, or pins-and-needles sensation in a single or each legs that causes a relentless urge to maneuver the legs. This feeling is commonly worse at night. See your doctor for more details about medications and exercises used to treat RLS.

How much sleep do you wish?

Get some rest

There are other problems that may disrupt sleep as well, akin to depression, arthritis, and lack of exercise, so refer to your doctor in the event you think any of those will be the problem. According to Dr. Epstein, you may also improve the standard of your sleep by practicing good sleep habits. For example:

Maintain an everyday sleep schedule. Approach sleep like every other structured a part of your life. Go to bed at the identical time every night, and provides yourself about an hour before to rest, shower, and brush your teeth.

“Ritual tells your body and mind it's time to slow down, which can make it easier to fall asleep,” says Dr. Epstein. Also, don't leave anything distracting or stimulating within the bedroom, akin to the TV, computer or phone. Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet, and if needed, hearken to a white noise machine to aid you loosen up.

See Caffeine and Alcohol. Caffeine is a stimulant that could make it difficult to go to sleep. Alcohol makes you sleepy, but can disrupt sleep. Avoid eating or drinking no less than two hours before bed, or earlier if it makes a difference to you.

Be careful with sleep. Sleep quality can have a positive or negative effect on sleep quality, says Dr. Epstein. “If you sleep too late in the day or too close to your normal bedtime, like after 5 p.m., it can disrupt your sleep routine,” he says. Still, in the event you're continuously sleepy in the course of the day, a 20- to 30-minute nap might be rejuvenating. Set a timer, so that you don't oversleep, and take a look at to nap at specific times of the day, akin to early or late afternoon.

Sleep is an important a part of a healthy life, so do every thing you'll be able to to keep up the standard of your sleep. “Insomnia often becomes a habit, and people start worrying about not falling asleep before going to bed, which makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep,” says Dr. Epstein. “But with the right approach, poor sleep is something anyone can eventually overcome.”