Your automobile has a warning light for low oil and it is on.  Do you take the car to a mechanic and get the oil changed, or do nothing?  To do nothing would eventually destroy the engine.  The answer, of course, is that you get the car fixed.  Why don’t we take as good of care of our own bodies (engines) as we do our cars?

Good Senior Health is as dependent on sleep as much as any other age group.  Sleep is what restores your body and mind.  Your brain while you are sleeping does all kinds of things. Deep sleep helps the body to repair itself and build up energy for the next day. It plays a major role in maintaining health, stimulating growth and development, repairing muscles and tissues, and boosting your immune system, according to helpguide.org.  REM sleep, also according to helpguide.org, “renews the mind. REM sleep plays a key role in learning and memory. During REM sleep, your brain consolidates and processes the information you’ve learned during the day, forms neural connections that strengthen memory and replenishes its supply of neurotransmitters including feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine that boost your mood during the day.”

Good health is dependent on getting eight hours of sleep per night.  Good senior health also needs eight hours of sleep per night.   WebMd has 10 tips to get better sleep.  They are:

1. Cut caffeine.  The effects of caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off.  Cut caffeine to at least four to six hours before bedtime.

2. Avoid alcohol as a sleep aid.  Alcohol causes disturbances in sleep resulting in less restful sleep.

3. Relax before bedtime. Develop some kind of pre-sleep ritual to break the connection between all the day’s stress and bedtime.

4. Exercise at the right time of day for you.  Regular exercise in the morning can help relieve insomnia, according to a study.

5. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable.  Ideal room temperatures for sleeping are between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Eat right, sleep tight.  Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.  Foods that may help promote sleep include milk, tuna, halibut, pumpkin, artichokes, avocados, almonds, eggs, bok choy, peaches, walnuts, apricots, oats, asparagus, potatoes, buckwheat, and bananas.

7. Restrict nicotine.  Having a smoke before bed-although it feels relaxing actually puts a stimulant into your body similar to caffeine.

8. Avoid napping.  Seniors who have trouble getting a full eight hours at night may benefit from a 20 minute snooze about eight hours after getting up.

9. Keep pets off the bed.  Pets sleeping with you may cause you to awaken during the night.

10. Avoid watching TV, eating, and discussing emotional issues in bed. The bed should be used for sleep and sex only.

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