Tips for Seniors Who Want to Burn Body Fat and Get Better Sleep

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Please check out this fantastic article by Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net on optimizing sleep in older individuals.

By Karen Weeks

karen@elderwellness.net

It’s a well-known fact that we burn calories while we sleep. Therefore, the higher the quality of our sleep, the more fat we will burn throughout the night. But sleep and body fat are even more intertwined than that. Lack of sleep, which is common among seniors, can lead to weight gain, and excess body fat can impede your quality of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you’re a senior, there are steps you can take to maximize the calories you burn during sleep, and there are also practical things you can do throughout the day that will help you reduce body fat and get better sleep. Here’s what you need to know.

Eat Better

Eating well is a cornerstone of healthy living. And yes, it can even help you sleep more soundly.  If you’re super busy and fast food is a part of your normal routine, consider getting an electric pressure cooker. That way, you can cook fast, healthy meals at home and avoid the consequences of fast food. Before you buy anything, check out reviews of various pressure cookers to compare quality, prices, and ease of use.

It’s also worth considering that there are certain foods you can eat late at night that will give your metabolism a boost, which will help you burn more calories in your sleep. Protein shakes, pistachios, plain yogurt, strawberries, and cheese are just a few examples of healthy late-nightsnacks. Just be sure to keep the portions under control so that your body isn’t working too hard to digest, which can keep you from falling asleep.

Get a Move on It

Exercise is another thing that can help you lose body fat and get better sleep. Not only that, but it also comes with a number of mental health benefits, such as improved self-confidence and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

There are many types of exercise that are safe and beneficial for seniors. Many older adults opt for low-impact movements like swimming, cycling, brisk walking, and using the elliptical. The important thing is that you find something you enjoy and that you do it for at least 30 minutes a day, even if you need to break it into 10- or 15-minute segments.

When you have a solid exercise routine, you will have more energy throughout the day and it will help you feel more tired by bedtime. Morning and afternoon routines tend to work best for improving sleep, as exercising in the evening can make it difficult to fall asleep.

Establish a Killer Bedtime Routine

If you want to get better sleep and burn off more calories, you need a bedtime routine. This can include anything that helps you fall and stay asleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (even on weekends). Also, try a variety of activities that help you wind down and get ready for sleep. Taking a warm bath, listening to soft music, practicing yoga, meditating, and reading a book are all things that can put you in the right frame of mind to drift off.

Make Your Bedroom Dark, Quiet, and Cool

Your bedroom is also important when it comes to healthy sleep, so make sure this space promotes relaxation by keeping it dark and quiet leading up to bedtime and throughout the night.

Keeping the temperature a little cooler can improve sleep as well. Moreover, consider removingthe use of electronic devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, TVs, etc.) from your bedtime routine, as the blue light emitted from the screens can be a sleep disrupter.

If you want to reduce your body fat and get better sleep, make sure you’re following a healthy diet and exercise routine. Also, create a good bedtime routine and turn your bedroom into a sleep haven. Just because poor sleep is common among seniors doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate. Making little changes like these might be all it takes to help you improve your overall health and well-being.

Replace That Mattress

mattress
The Better Sleep Council states that mattresses should be replaced every 5 to 7 years, and that the springs in most mattresses will lose their function in that span of time. What is interesting, though, is that other tests on mattresses which are conducted by independent companies have found that many mattresses hold up 8, 9 even 10 years after purchase. So what is the rule of thumb with mattress replacement?

The main factor in determining when to replace a mattress is sleep quality. Since we spend (or should spend) one-third of our lives sleeping, it is imperative to have a mattress which imparts comfortable sleep. So if you have a mattress which is 5 or more years old, you might want to assess whether the quality of your sleep has diminished recently, if you awaken with back pain, or if you are tossing and turning to get comfortable in bed.

My personal story is that I have been sleeping on the same mattress for almost 9 years now, and though it has a 3 inch pillowtop and used to feel like a cloud, I am noticing that I cannot find a comfortable spot on my mattress. As a result, I have decided to ring in the new year with a new mattress, provided I can scrape up the money to buy one. The other tricky thing will be to find one which I love, and which I can afford. Some mattresses go for several thousand dollars, which is far beyond what I can even hope to afford.

Keep in mind that many mattress stores have no interest financing so that you can make your purchase without paying anything for months on end. It may be time to schedule a visit with your spouse or significant other to a mattress store to find a mattress which will improve the quality of your slumber.