Patient education is part of GAPNA’s mission to promote excellence in advanced practice nursing for the well-being of older adults. The mission of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is to discover what may contribute to a healthy old age as well as to understand and address the disease and disability sometimes associated with growing older.
In pursuit of these goals, NIA’s research program covers a broad range of areas, from the study of basic cellular changes that occur with age to the examination of the biomedical, social, and behavioral aspects of age-related conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. The NIA has many resources on health and aging for older patients.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
Being older doesn’t mean you must be tired all the time. You can do many things to help you get a good night’s sleep. Here are some ideas:
- Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when you are traveling.
- Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening, if you can. Naps may keep you awake at night.
- Develop a bedtime routine. Take time to relax before bedtime each night. Some people read a book, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath.
- Try not to watch television or use your computer, cell phone, or tablet in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. And alarming or unsettling shows or movies, like horror movies, may keep you awake.
- Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
- Use low lighting in the evenings and as you prepare for bed.
- Exercise at regular times each day but not within 3 hours of your bedtime.
- Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime.
- Stay away from caffeine late in the day. Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate) can keep you awake.
- Alcohol won’t help you sleep. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.
For more info, see “A Good Night’s Sleep” on NIA’s AgePage.