Sleep Science • Article

6 Ways to Sleep like a Retiree

Adrienne Samuels Gibbs

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Going to bed later and sleeping longer, anyone? 

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.

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.

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.  To take the guess work out of what do do, try the Sleep30® Challenge by Sleep Number® shown to improve sleep quality AND sleep habits. 



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.

Sleep Number SleepIQ
® sleepers who say they exercise regularly are the most restful overall, have the highest SleepIQ® score, and the lowest average heartrate and breath rate compared to those who exercise occasionally or rarely.*

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.

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.

It probably comes as no surprise that Sleep Number® SleepIQ® sleepers who reported having a low stress level tend to have the lowest average heartrate and lowest average breathing rate.*  

Try going with the flow and doing some yoga.  Sleep Number® SleepIQ®
sleepers who do gentle exercise, like yoga, get the most restful sleep.*  Here’s some nighttime yoga moves you can do in bed.

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.

Want even better sleep? Sleepers who routinely use their
Sleep Number 360® smart bed features and SleepIQ® technology get almost 100 hours more proven quality sleep per year.**

Like diet and exercise, quality sleep has a profound impact on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Because no two people sleep the same, Sleep Number 360
® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably and provide proven quality sleep. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep, and if you own a Sleep Number® bed, log in to your InnerCircle℠ Rewards account to see your exclusive offers, refer friends and more.

*Based on SleepIQ®
data from 1/2/20 to 1/1/21 and self-reported responses of sleepers using SleepIQ® technology from 5/12/19 – 1/1/21

**Based on internal analysis of sleep sessions assessing sleepers who use multiple features of Sleep Number® products. Claim based on sleepers achieving over 15 more minutes of restful sleep per sleep sessions.



Adrienne Samuels Gibbs writes leadership bios, consumer-oriented features and arts and culture content for outlets such as Netflix, Forbes, Ebony, Chicago Sun-Times and NBC.

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