Getting a good night’s sleep as the clocks go forward

With the clocks going forward and the evenings getting brighter, it’s important to consider the time you go to bed rather than the time you wake-up. Common sense tells us that, if you’re going to bed at the same time but just waking up earlier, you will end up being tired.
Instead, going to bed earlier means you’ll get enough sleep. Here are some suggestions for a good night’s sleep and a healthy next day.
It’s best not to eat too close to bedtime. If you’re still digesting your food when you’re trying to go to sleep, your body may be too busy to relax enough for you to sleep. Eating three hours before bedtime is better than one hour before bedtime.
You don’t want a lot of exposure to light in the hours before it’s time to go to sleep. And that includes light from your electronic devices, like your smartphone or tablet or watching TV in bed.
You want to be dimming or turning off all the the lights in your home in the lead up to bedtime, and a good night’s sleep.
Light plays a big part in telling your circadian rhythms that it’s time to get a move on. As soon as you wake up, open the curtains and, if you can, head outside for a walk.
If you start in the morning with early morning light, get outside and exercise. The light tells your body that it’s time to wake up. Then you’ll be tired when it comes time to go to bed again.
Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults — seven to nine hours each night. However, in general older people tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger.
Insomnia is the most common sleep problem in adults age 60 and older. People with this condition have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Insomnia can last for days, months, and even years.
Often, being unable to sleep becomes a habit. Some people worry about not sleeping even before they get into bed. This may make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Your GP can help if you are troubled by insomnia.

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