The joys of retirement include having the opportunity to spend time with friends and travel frequently. And after many years of hard work, retirement promises the chance to sleep as often as you would like. On average, after retirement, people sleep for about 20 minutes longer at night. Those who have skimped the most during their working years see the biggest improvements, rising their daily sessions by around 45 minutes compared to pre-retirement. Moreover, retired people are less likely to experience work-related stress related to sleep difficulties.
But, along with the positive news, there are some obstacles after retirement to get quality sleep. It can be difficult to stick to a bedtime schedule, especially due to the fact that retirees are now able to sleep until whenever they wish. Many people will often travel frequently during their retirement years, and the different time zones can quickly disrupt a good sleeping pattern. Fortunately, there are a number of extremely easy and simple ways of building a solid sleeping pattern while also improving quality of life.
Stick to A Routine
Whether you’re at home or on a journey, try waking every morning at the same time. Not only will oversleeping make it hard to fall asleep at night, but too little sleep is associated with higher dementia risks. Aim for a regular schedule, even on weekends. If you’ve switched travel time zones, keep your morning wake-up regular and go to bed for a few days a little earlier until the jet lag wears off.
Relax Before Bedtime
When we age, falling asleep can take longer and longer. Develop a relaxing night-time routine to help make nodding off easier. Switch off the television and digital devices (the blue light they emit activates the brain and keeps you awake) even if it means skipping your favourite game of mobile pokies NZ, read a book, take a bath and listen to relaxing music instead. Following the same nightly routine, the brain will eventually know when to release the right chemicals at certain times at night.
After retirement, afternoons are no longer bogged down by work, and it may seem like a great opportunity to catch a little shut-eye. Yet napping can actually throw off your body clock during the day and keep you awake at night. The best bet is to completely avoid naps, but if you feel especially tired and need to sleep, keep it up to a maximum of 20 minutes.
Exercise During The Day
If during the day you feel a little drowsy, go out for a brisk walk and hit the gym. Moderate exercise will help you wake up and increase your chances of a better night’s sleep.
It may seem ironic that you now need to follow a consistent sleep schedule after so many years of sticking to a regular work schedule. But by being consistent with your bedtime and wake-up hours, you can truly reap the benefits of the restorative powers of sleep and feel energized for the day ahead.