A good sleep after reaching 60s is quite a big challenge and that too with this constant gloom cloud of stress and problems hovering above our heads. But a healthy sleep is extremely important for our body and there are various ways you can bring back that lost stress-less sleep in your life.
Ever heard of a sleep diary? It is a highly effective way of fighting your troubling insomnia.
Sleep troubles are generally caused due to unfixed sleeping pattern which owe a lot thanks to our subconscious mind. As we grow older, we realize that the moment we hit the sack, our mind starts replaying every single memory of our life. It is quite hard to shut down the reeling thoughts. When people realize that they are having trouble with sleep or shortly, suffer from insomnia, they blame it on stress or age and other vague concepts.
Sleep is a certainly a complex process and it is affected by numerous factors. Some of them are under our control whereas others are out of our control. Shifting forward is an uncontrollable tendency of our body as we grow older. It refers to our body wanting to wake up early even when we are tired and sleepy. Other factors are those that we can control like getting lots of exercise, being careful about the last meal before sleeping, consumption of alcohol and medication.
As we age, these factors have a combined affect on the sleeping patterns and thus it becomes hard to determine what exactly the cause of insomnia is. Some people start feeling hot during the night as their body temperature abruptly rises. Or some people tend to visit the bathroom several times during the night. Others take their worries and tensions along with them to bed. In most cases the affect is a combination of all three factors. And others don’t even remember what causes trouble with their sleep.
So to deal with your restless and sleepless nights and to improve your sleeping pattern, a sleep diary can work wonders.
A sleep diary is basically your record book of sleeping patterns. The events recorded can be for about a week or more. You can jot down the sleeping pattern in various formats but the most important is to keep a track of the hours of sleep you have every night, the problems that keep you awake at night (including frequent visit to bathrooms, nightmares, relentless thoughts etc). You can also record what you eat every night before you sleep and if you exercise or not.
This is what you should note every night in your sleep diary:
- The time at which you went to bed
- Time it took to fall asleep
- How many hours you slept
- Count of how many times you woke up mid night
- Did you feel rested after waking up
- The dinner meal
- Any alcoholic consumption 6 hours before going to bed
- Did you exercise
- Your medication
- Any nap you took in mid-day
The first benefit of this activity is that you will become more consciously aware of your sleep pattern. You will notice how your meals and exercise have a positive or negathive effect on your sleep. You can see whether after eating a certain food you have had a better sleep or even less than before.
The second important benefit is that this sleep diary will be your record for the doctor. It will help them to determine better medication or ways to improve your sleeping pattern. They make give you a less stimulating medicine.