Are you struggling to let your mind peacefully drift off into the night? Well, you’re not alone because so are more than 60 million Americans, and one-third of people over the age of 65.
As we grow older, the natural production of melatonin in our brain reduces slowly over time. This is an unfortunate result of aging as disturbed sleep is an inconvenience that can really leave us dragging our feet the next day, feeling tired, groggy and fatigued. It can affect our emotional and physical health, as well as our memory, concentration and blood pressure. After all, sleep is one of our most fundamental needs no matter how old we are. It’s just as important as food and water and we really need it.
On the bright side, there are easy, natural fixes that can improve our sleep. And these sleep solutions don’t necessarily require a prescription that can leave us riddled with side effects. By adjusting our sleep habits, and maintaining those healthy habits as we age, our bodies will be able to get the rest it requires.
Five Tips to Change Your Sleep Habits
Before turning to prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, one of the best ways to foster healthy sleep is by changing your sleep habits.
Here are a few tips we recommend:
- Keep the same sleep schedule every day. That means sleeping at the same time every day, even on weekends and when you’re traveling.
- Have a bedtime routine. Some of the best bedtime routines include reading, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath to let your body and brain know it’s time to wind down and relax.
- Stay away from gadgets and electronics. That means putting away smartphones, laptops, and turning off the TV. Light at night is bad for your health, especially exposure to blue light.
- Do not take naps during the day. Napping can sometimes feel great, but it can also throw off your sleep cycle.
- Limit your liquid intake late in the day. Drinking caffeine can interfere with your ability to sleep later in the day. Alcohol can prevent you from accessing deep sleep stages. And water can wake you up in the night with a full bladder.
By taking these steps to improve your sleep, rather than simply living with sleep deprivation, your body and brain will be able to see an amazing change in the way that it functions. Poor sleep will get in the way of how you function, and it’s often linked to memory issues, depression and increased likelihood of falls and accidents. The chances of these problems are much more common for elders.
Natural Sleep Aids vs. Traditional Sleep Aids
Research shows that natural sleep aids are generally considered safer than over-the-counter and prescription medication. This is because they tend to have much fewer side effects. Many people often worry that traditional sleep remedies will cause them to become dependent and they fear experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they choose to stop using it. Not only that, but some people have indicated having even more difficulty falling asleep after trying out traditional medication and stopping.
On the other hand, natural sleep aids typically do not lead to dependence and have a relatively low risk of side effects and complications. They are also commonly created with healthy ingredients such as vitamins, nutraceuticals and herbs.
Best Natural Sleep Aid Ingredients for the Elderly
By researching some of the best natural ingredients that help with falling asleep, we’ve compiled a list of vitamins and herbs that can help get your snoozing through the night.
Hops: This is a herb often used for treating sleep disorders, anxiety, and insomnia, along with tension and restlessness. Studies have shown that hops have sedative effects which help to improve quality of sleep. It is sometimes combined with other herbs like valerian root to further enhance its effectiveness.
Other hops benefits include:
- Lowering cholesterol
- Relieving irritability
- Relieving tenseness
- Aiding in digestive issues
- Improving appetite
Valerian Root: This is a herb that is often used for treating sleep disorders, such as insomnia, and has been used for psychological stress and anxiety relief. It acts as a sedative on the brain and nervous system and can be combined with other herbs such as hops. Studies show that valerian root can also improve the quality of sleep in postmenopausal women.
Other valerian root benefits include:
- Relieving headaches
- Aiding in depression
- Improving restlessness
- Helping with muscle and joint pain
Melatonin: This is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that controls our circadian rhythms. It is heavily involved in regulating our sleep and wake cycles, among other processes. Many people who experience chronic insomnia use melatonin supplements to help them fall asleep faster and boost their quality of sleep. Research has shown that supplementing with melatonin works as one of the best natural sleep aids.
Other melatonin benefits include:
- Relieving symptoms of jet lag
- Boosting immunity
- Reducing symptoms of seasonal depression
- Promote eye health
Passionflower: This is a herb that is primarily used for sleep and anxiety problems because it contains chemicals that produce a calming effect. It is often used for pain management and pain relief. Studies have shown that passionflower is strongly effective for reducing stress and enabling calmness, which works wonders for anyone trying to relax before bedtime.
Other Passionflower benefits include:
- Relieving muscle spasms
- Helping reduce inflammation
- Helping with menopausal symptoms
- Aiding in heart rhythm problems
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): This is an amino acid that helps to increase serotonin levels. It is known to promote sleep and increase the duration of sleep, which is very helpful for elders who have trouble staying asleep throughout the night.
Other 5-HTP benefits include:
- Aiding in depression
- Helping with anxious feelings
- Relieving headaches
How to Sleep Better
Allow yourself to get into the habit of winding down and relaxing each night. If you choose to supplement with natural sleep aids, be sure to take them at the same time each day. This can serve as a reminder to your body that it’s time to slow down, unwind and prepare for a full night’s rest.
It’s also important to figure out the underlying causes that are triggering poor sleep, and to re-access your sleep habits for areas of improvement. As we begin to age, our brain and body tend to stay awake due to stress, noise or the slightest discomfort. Natural sleep aids serve as a great sleep remedy that can give you the push you need to fall asleep, but it’s also good to keep up with healthy sleep habits, daily exercise and a nutritious diet. If your sleep problems continue to persist, you should consult a doctor in case of an underlying health issue.
Can-i Wellness for Sleep and Relaxation
As a leading wellness company that produces high-quality, third-party lab-tested products, Can-i Wellness’ four unique experiences are precisely created to fulfill the demands of both athletes and health enthusiasts. Combining vitamins, nutraceuticals, and herbal extracts into their offerings, the products are designed to function together to provide the best experience possible, resulting in optimal health benefits.
If you are in search of natural sleep aid alternatives, Can-i Sleep sleep solutions contain melatonin and are an excellent option to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, Can-i Fresh is ideal for relaxing and calming your mind after a stressful day. Can-i Sleep and Can-i Fresh function optimally together because daily stressors can keep you awake at night. So by taking Can-i Fresh to relax in the early evening, and Can-i Sleep when it’s time to finally fall asleep, you’ll be able to wake up refreshed, revitalized and perfectly well rested.