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How to Sleep Better as You Get Older

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As the number of candles on your birthday cake grows, you might notice that you wake up earlier or throughout the night. You may find that you get fewer hours of shut-eye, or you fall asleep during the day.

Rest assured, there are things you can do to get the sleep you need.

Recommended Related to Sleep Disorders

How to Cope With a Bad Bed Partner

Jamesha Edwards, 32, was no stranger to sleepless nights. Her husband, Lionel, 40, saw to that with his snoring. "The snoring was so loud," she explains. "And really scary. He was [often] gasping and fighting in his sleep because he was trying to get air." Edwards, a sales representative who lives in Pottstown, Pa., alternated between sitting awake worrying about her husband's health and being forced out of their bedroom in search of peace and quiet. Hers is a familiar story. A National Sleep Foundation...

Read the How to Cope With a Bad Bed Partner article > >

How Much Is Enough?

There's no “right” amount of sleep. What you consider a good amount can be entirely different than what your neighbor needs. Still, experts recommend adults get 7 to 9 hours every night.

If you get fewer Zzz's than you did when you were younger, but you still feel rested and energetic, you might simply need less sleep than you used to.

But if you feel rundown because of it, here are some ways to get better rest.

Tips to Sleep Tight

Stick to a regular bedtime. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Your body will get used to the routine.

Take a warm bath. When you get out of the tub, the drop in body temperature may help you feel tired. It can also help you relax and slow down, so you’re more ready to go to bed.

Take time to calm down before you turn out the lights. Turn off your electronic devices and TV an hour before bed. You can read a book, listen to music -- whatever helps you unwind.

Make the bedroom a sleep zone. If you're still awake 20 minutes after you hit the sack, get up. Get back in bed only when you feel tired enough. Train yourself to think of the bed as a place for sleeping only.

Avoid afternoon naps. If you sleep during the day, you're more likely to stay awake at night.

Don't drink alcohol close to bedtime. Even small amounts can make it harder to stay asleep. It can make you wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of the booze have worn off.

Drink less fluids at night. Trips to the bathroom break up your sleep.

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