Sleep gives your body the time it needs to repair any cellular breakdown it has endured during the day and helps with fighting illness and disease more efficiently. Even though it seems like a simple habit for a healthy lifestyle, resting up properly can prove to be a challenge for a lot of people. In older adults, sleeping can become difficult and having a lower quality sleep seems to be a normal part of getting old. However, the need for a good night’s sleep will never lessen and it is vital that seniors do everything they can to ensure that they are sleeping well and proper.
What Happens When You Are Deprived of Sleep?
Having a good quality sleep doesn’t only improve your energy levels, mood, and general health, but it can also improve your mind and body functions. If you are sleep deprived, you may become clumsier as your coordination and balance are affected. Being sleepy can also cause mood swings and memory problems due to a decrease in the efficiency of your cognitive functions. Lack of sleep can also lead to issues with your health as your blood pressure and sugar levels may rise, making you more prone to develop heart disease, diabetes, and become obese.
Why Do Seniors Struggle to Sleep?
For most people, falling asleep once you’re in bed takes 10-20 minutes. However, studies have shown that a proportion of adults who are over 65 need 30 minutes or more to get to sleep. There is a range of factors that may cause an older person to struggle to sleep. This can include medication, being more sensitive to the environment (e.g. noise), chronic pain (e.g. arthritis), an increase in mental health issues (due to losing loved ones and retirement), and chemical/hormonal changes.
What Can Be Done?
Seniors should get at least seven and a half hours sleep a night. To achieve this, you should keep your bedroom dark and at a cool temperature (between 60- 67 degrees Fahrenheit). Low light should be used before bed to help increase levels of Melatonin, which will aid your sleep. Backlit screens (e.g. television and laptops) should be avoided for at least an hour before bedtime. Avoid looking at clocks and go to the bathroom before getting into bed.
What Habits Should You Avoid?
Keep distractions away from your room (e.g. TVs and work). Make sure you prepare and eat your dinner at least two hours before you plan to go to bed, as it will give your body more time to digest it. Spicy and fatty foods should be avoided as they can cause acid reflux. Having alcohol or caffeine less than three hours before you sleep can keep you up. Finally, try your best not to start the habit of taking sleeping pills, as this can increase the problem in the long run.
Is it Worth Investing in a Medical Alert Device?
A medical alert device is a great thing to consider if you’re feeling sleep deprived. They are used to help healthy aging promotion and they help you to rest easy knowing help will be there as soon as you need it. Keeping the button close to you or on you while you sleep means you’ll be able to get a response quickly and easily if you are experiencing a problem. If you want more information on a medical alert system, then read more info at Bay Alarm Medical.
The main thing you need to try to do to sleep better is to make sure your mind is at rest. Keep your work and entertainment away from your bedroom, avoid getting into bad habits by relying on certain things to help you sleep and consider a medical alert device to help put your mind at rest.