Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get restful, relaxing sleeps each night? To do so, we’d have to be in dreamland for a minimum of seven to eight hours straight. For many of us, busy lifestyles don’t make good night’s sleeps possible. But, it’s even harder for seniors to get the sleep they need. Unfortunately, there is a myriad of reasons older adults have harder times falling asleep at night. We’ll get to those shortly.
What are the benefits of a good night’s sleep?
Obviously, we all need to be rejuvenated for the beginning of each and every day. But in addition to the need to regain energy, there are numerous health benefits to getting good sleep. According to London, England’s The Good Care Group, proper sleep at night can enhance a person’s memory and attention span.
Their website also lists reduced medication usage; reduced symptoms of depression; improved cardiovascular health; reduced stress and anxiety; a regulated appetite; a reduced risk of falling and a happier, more engaged lifestyle as the top benefits of restful, uninterrupted sleeps.
What makes it harder for seniors to get good night’s sleeps?
As FamilyDoctor.org explains, older adults experience changes in their sleep-wake cycles. “This can be caused by age, lifestyle, or health conditions,” reports the site, “Your body’s chemicals and hormones are a factor, too. For example, as you age, your body produces less melatonin. This is the natural hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. Lifestyle habits can affect your sleep. These include smoking and drinking alcohol or caffeine.”
It should also probably go without saying that older adults tend to experience more aches and pains than the rest of us. Because it can be difficult to get comfortable in bed, a senior can lay awake for hours. This is especially true if he/she is living with a mobility issue that prevents him/her from being able to get into and out of bed independently.
What are some common health problems that inhibit sleep?
Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder. As FamilyDoctor.org explains, it’s a condition that causes a person’s breathing to abnormally stop and start, while he/she is sleeping. Those who suffer from sleep apnea are often known to be loud snorers. This is because they can actually stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time, several times throughout the night.
The site also lists restless legs syndrome (RLS) as a sleep inhibitor. “RLS is a condition in which you have leg pain or discomfort. It occurs when you are sitting or lying down,” it reads, “It can feel like your legs won’t be still. RLS can make it hard for you to sleep.”
What steps should be taken by seniors who wish to sleep better?
Get some light exercise in during the day in order to promote a greater need to rest at night. Avoiding distractions such as the phone and the television will also help. As well, staying away from alcohol, caffeine and sugar-based drinks before bed will help with getting better rest.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we recognize that transforming your bedroom into a peaceful personal space again can aid with sleep. Contact us to learn about the accessibility renovations we offer for the bedroom. Give us a call at 403-460-5438 today! You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!