Sleep like a Retiree

No matter your work status, here are tips to help you sleep like a retiree – or – enjoy retirement more.

After retirement, most folks sleep more and experience higher quality snoozing. Retirees often don’t watch the clock, and aren’t living through stressful work-related situations that impact bedtime. According to a 2016 study that was cited by Sleep, the journal published by the Sleep Research Society, retirees went to bed later and slept longer than they did while they were working.

Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it?

The University of Pittsburg’s sleep expert, Daniel Buysse, says in this video that people who sleep more tend to live longer and have fewer health problems. Some retirees fall into this category because they are able to slow down, focus on what is important in life and take the time to get adequate sleep.

No matter your work status, here’s how you too can sleep like a retiree.

1. Upgrade Your Mattress

If you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for the last 10 or 15 years, it’s time to upgrade. A comfortable mattress is an important part of a good sleep environment. Signs that it’s time for a replacement include a sagging mattress, pain upon waking or a bed that creaks.

2. Develop a Routine

The beauty of not having to be at work at 9 a.m. means retirees can wake up whenever they want to. That said, according to a study in the Journal of Physiology, when left to their own devices, people still tend to go to bed and wake up at around the same times, and have defined periods of wakefulness and sleep. Retirees also sleep longer, according to this Retirement and Sleep Trajectories Study that ran in the journal Sleep. Also, a Psychology Today expert says this type of routine preps the mind and body for bed.

3. Exercise

Many retirees exercise more regularly once the pressure to work eight to ten hours a day is alleviated. This could include a game of golf, walking around the block or taking a dance class. The rest of the working population could learn from that lifestyle by striving to exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

4. Get Some Sunlight

It’s sometimes tough to get outside when work beckons. But sunlight is good for you. Active retirees often get outside to garden, exercise, shop, or just sit on the porch. Getting solar rays for at least 15 minutes a day helps set the body clock, Harper’s Bazaar notes, and then, when the sun sets, helps the body produce the chemicals needed to prep for sleep.

5. Manage Stress

Trying to channel the peace found in retirement is tough when kids and jobs are clamoring for attention, but try to calm your mind at bedtime. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing down a to-do list alleviates the stress of having to constantly think about and remember what needs to be done.

6. Don’t Sleep Too Much

You are better off waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day. Retirees tend to get more exercise and in turn do less sleeping in, according to a University of Sydney study. According to Harvard University, consistent bedtimes often mean you won’t overdo things on the weekends or on holidays.

Of course, there is no need to wait until retirement to start sleeping like a retiree. Right now is always a good time to improve your sleep environment.

Struggling with your sleep? Read this blog article for tips to get out of sleep debt.