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Category: Health & Wellness / Topics: Lifestyle, General Optimal Aging Wellness

I Tried These 8 Sleep Tricks, Here's What Worked (and What Didn't)

by Victoria Smith / Domino

Posted: September 4, 2020

The tips that finally led me to a better night's sleep…

Editor's Note: Sleep patterns change over our lives and many seniors find themselves struggling to adapt. Following is an excerpt of an article by Victoria Smith that may help you find a solution. Follow the links to other articles that may also prove helpful. It originally appeared on Domino in March, 2018. A link to the full article appears at the bottom of the page.

The Problem

Sleep is such a double-edged sword. A solid night of shut-eye makes you feel like you can rule the world, while tossing and turning all night long makes you want to cry. Plus, go a few days without enough sleep, and you’ll be moody, anxious, and constantly fatigued. Not fun.

Lately, for me, getting a good night’s sleep was a struggle. Thanks to some stressful circumstances, I had trouble falling asleep. I’d wake up at 3 a.m. with anxious thoughts, and I’d feel groggy and useless in the morning until I had three cups of coffee.

The Experiment

With my under-eye circles darkening and anxiety levels rising, I realized I needed to change how I approach bedtime. Experts call this “sleep hygiene”—the practices and habits you can do to help improve sleep quality and your alertness during the day. After doing some research, I came up with these eight tricks and tips to improve my sleep hygiene. Some are based on science, others are old wives’ tales, but no medications were involved. For one week, I put them all to the test. Here’s what worked best in my quest for more restful nights [in the full article Smith briefly describes each approach, wth a verdict for each.].

  • Turn on White Noise
  • Wear a Sleep Mask
  • Turn Down the Thermostat
  • Follow a Bedtime Routine
  • Stay Away From Screens
  • Journal Before Bed
  • Avoid Alcohol Late at Night
  • If All Else Fails, Just Relax

What do you think? Which might work for you? Compare your hunches (or experience) with Victoria's findings, by reading the full article. Fefore you do that, though, here's a hint

The Takeaway

Over a week later, I’m happy to report my sleep schedule is back on track, and I’m logging 7 to 8 hours per night. I think it’s a combination of all of the strategies above, but I believe that following a relaxing bedtime routine and keeping my phone away from my bed delivered the most benefits. Plus, they’re totally doable and don’t require any big purchases. There have been a couple times when I woke up during the night, but overall, I feel way more rested today than I did one week ago—and I only had one cup of coffee.

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Posted: September 4, 2020

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