Aging Healthy: Slipping Into Sound Sleep

In our last Aging Healthy post, we discussed making healthy food choices and briefly looked at some healthy eating patterns. Today’s post will focus on sleep and what we can do for a good night’s rest.

photo-illustration of a woman having difficulty sleeping in bed. [credit:, megan te boekhorst]
[CREDIT:, Megan te Boekhorst]

Perhaps many of you have found yourself awake at 2 a.m., staring at the clock and your bedroom wall. You fell asleep hours ago, but now you’re up and can’t get back to sleep. We know that getting enough sleep helps us stay alert the next day and it also helps us stay healthy. But, sometimes, we just can’t get to sleep. Aches and pains, an illness, a jolt from a late caffeinated drink, medication side effects; whatever the reason, sleep eludes us. And, not getting enough good sleep can make us irritable, forgetful, and more prone to accidents.

What can we do to promote a better night’s sleep? The National Institutes of Health has some suggestions:

  • Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Maybe read a book or magazine, crochet or embroider, take a warm bath or shower. Just make sure whatever you choose, it’s something you enjoy and find restful.
  • Try to fall asleep and get up at the same time each day. Your body will find a rhythm.
  • Avoid napping late in the day.
  • Avoid eating a large meal later in the evening.
  • Exercise at regular times each day, and not too close to your bedtime. If you do exercise in the evening, allow some “down time” before heading off to the bedroom.
  • You might try meditation, mindfulness, or yoga to improve your sleep.

To learn more about how to get a good night’s sleep, visit

Next in the physical health portion of our series, we will talk about the health impacts from smoking, drinking alcohol, and using other substances. Visit the Aging Healthy blog series feed to find all current posts.


Maria Portelos-Rometo is a UF/IFAS Extension Agent at Sarasota County. She specializes in Family and Consumer Sciences.
Posted: April 25, 2024

Category: Health & Nutrition, Work & Life
Tags: Aging, Aging Healthy, AgingHealthy, Health, Pgm_FCS, Rest, Senior, Sleep

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