Nighttime Routines to Help Seniors Sleep Better

Having a nighttime routine before bed may help. A nighttime routine should generally be performed in the same order, every night, 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed. Here are five routines that you or a loved one can try to sleep better and snooze longer.

Practice Gentle Yoga Stretches

Studies have shown that yoga may help improve sleep quality for seniors who suffer from insomnia, snoring or restless leg syndrome. Simple yoga stretches may help ease tension in the body’s pressure points and help relieve sore muscles. This may result in the loosening up of muscle tension while sleeping. Yoga also teaches mindfulness which can help the brain let go of stressful thoughts at bedtime.

The Joys of Journaling

Writing in a journal is an opportunity to clear the mind and prepare for rest. Journaling can be as easy as writing down five things to be grateful for or recording a positive event in one’s life. The key word here is “positive.” Keep writings lighthearted and upbeat since stressing or worrying at bedtime can keep your brain from winding down.

Lather Up With Lotion

One of the most powerful senses is smell, and this can come in handy when it’s time to sleep. According to board-certified sleep medicine researcher and neurologist W. Christopher Winter, MD, “[Applying lotion] is sensory, it feels good on your skin, and it has a certain smell . . . [and if you’re putting on a certain lotion each night before bedtime] you start to associate the smell of that lotion with sleeping.” Help nourish skin by applying lotion to the hands and body. Choose lotions with calming properties, such as lavender, chamomile and rose.

Listen to Calming Music

Moms throughout time have known that singing a lullaby at bedtime is meant to help keep a baby calm and restful. Now, there’s science to support this. In a sleep study, adults 60 to 83 years old who had trouble sleeping were asked to listen to 45 minutes of relaxing music at bedtime for three weeks. The data indicated that by doing so, sleep quality tends to significantly improve. Make sure to tune in to music that is relaxing, like jazz, classical or symphonic.

Read a Good Book

Whether one’s favorite genre is mystery, sci-fi or autobiographical, read a few pages each night before falling asleep. The act of reading is thought to be a stress reducer, since your mind can be distracted by a good book. Ideally, sit or lie down in a comfortable position and choose a paper book rather than an e-book, as the blue light may keep the brain awake.

Still Want Some Sleep Tips?

If you’re looking for even more suggestions on the do’s of dozing off, here are ten senior-friendly tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.


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