Aging Well in the Gorge March 30th 2022

 Ah, sleep: nighttime bliss when you escape from your daily worries, refresh your body and mind, and star in a nonsensical dream - waking up wondering what did that dream mean?

But it’s only bliss if you can get a good night’s sleep.

As we age, many health issues can interfere with our sleep: anxiety, depression, pain such as arthritis, medication’s side effects, bathroom runs, insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome. It’s a wonder we ever get a good night’s sleep. It is estimated between 40% and 70% of older adults have chronic sleep issues which can significantly interfere with their daily activities and reduce their quality of life.

 

So what can you do to help get a good night’s sleep? Here are a few tips from the Sleep Foundation.

Exercise: older people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and report better quality of sleep.

Reduce bedroom distractions: televisions, cellphones, and bright lights.

Avoid substances that discourage sleep: alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and even large meals late in the day.

Develop a bedtime routine and follow it. Include relaxing activities before bed such as a warm bath or reading. (I can’t get past four pages before falling asleep.)

Avoid napping after 3:00 pm, although before 3:00 some experts suggest that a “short” daytime nap may be beneficial – thank goodness!

Keep your bedroom at a temperature comfortable for you, and hopefully comfortable for your spouse also.

And the last one I will add, find a partner who doesn’t toss and turn all night. Fortunately, my wife hasn’t asked me to sleep in a separate bed – yet.

While getting a good night’s sleep, you also want to be safe. You might want to try these suggestions.

Keep a telephone by the bed: It’s important to be able to call for help from your bed.

Make sure a light is within reach that is easy to turn on.

Reduce fall hazards in the bedroom: rugs, cords, and furniture.

It is also recommended to put a glass of water next to your bed in case you wake up thirsty. But I’d use a capped bottle of water. I’m not the most coordinated in the middle of the night and I would surely knock over the glass.

Most people should get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night for the health of their mind and body. And besides, you don’t want to wake up tired and irritable all because of a poor night’s sleep

This week’s Brain Tease. Name 6 or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter “S.”

Answers: .stlits ,sgnikcots ,seohswons ,setaks ,siks ,sreppils ,srekaens ,sladnas ,skcos

The actor who in his first leading role starred in the “Dollars Trilogy”, the low-budget spaghetti westerns, was Clint Eastwood. I received correct answers from Lucile Stephens, Billy Maxwell, Sam Bilyeu, Tina Castanares, Doug Nelson, Rose Schulz, Kim Birge, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Julie Carter, Gene Uczen, Steven Woolpert, and Dan Williams this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.  Last week I missed Gene Uczen and probably a few others.

I have received a few comments from certain individuals that the weekly question is too easy. Well to show them, here is a question I remember vividly from my grade school that I’m not sure if anyone else will. (You need to know my dad was a grade school principal.)

In 1957, this publisher of educational materials created individualized reading labs for grades schools composed of boxes filled with color-coded folded cardboard cards and each card included a reading exercise and questions. If you were successful answering the comprehension questions, you would move to the next color in the box. For this week’s “Remember When” what was the name of these reading kits. (Hint: It is a three-letter acronym for the company that created the reading kits.) Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, call 541-296-4788, or mail your answer written on the back of a check made out to Scott McKay for $10. (I’m not greedy!)

Well, it’s been another week, and still upright. Until we meet again, instead of what woulda, coulda, and shoulda happened, dream about what will, can, and shall happen.

“My mother told me to follow my dreams, so I took a nap.” Unknown

And one more.

“The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won’t get much sleep.” Woody Allen

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