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How Getting Enough Sleep Benefits Seniors

How Getting Enough Sleep Benefits Seniors

How Getting Enough Sleep Benefits Seniors

As they age, some older adults need less sleep. However, getting an adequate amount of sleep is important for their health and well-being, and it also helps prolong their life. Research shows that sleep is important at every age, as it restores the body and mind and helps all the systems in our body work properly.  It is important to reach out to a doctor if your senior loved one is experiencing prolonged insomnia so that a cause can be determined. Not getting enough sleep daily can have major effects on their health, so it is important to act quickly.

Why do seniors experience insomnia?

There are various reasons why a senior may be experiencing insomnia. It may have to do with their natural sleep/wake rhythms, or they may have an underlying chronic illness that can affect their sleep negatively. Some of these conditions include depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, alcohol misuse, restless leg syndrome, breathing disorders that have to do with sleep, etc. Insomnia symptoms can vary in different individuals, but the most common ones include:

  • Taking a long time to fall asleep
  • Waking up many times at night, too early or tired
  • Feeling sleepy during the day

If you’ve noticed that you or a loved one have insomnia symptoms, make sure to speak to your doctor about ways you can improve your sleep.

How does not getting enough sleep affect seniors?

Seniors who do not get an adequate amount of sleep can experience major effects on their bodies including:

  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Impaired thinking
  • Difficulty with coping with stress
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased blood sugar
  • High risk of stroke and heart attack
  • Increased risk of dementia later in life
  • Having falls and accidents

Due to all these reasons, it is extremely important for seniors to get enough sleep so that they can live healthy and long lives. If you or a senior loved one are having problems with your sleep, make sure to seek help from a health professional. They may require you to keep a sleep log, which will include how much you are sleeping and waking up, what time you are going to sleep, and other factors that may affect your sleep patterns. Although keeping a sleep log may seem time-consuming, it will help your provider understand your sleep patterns so that they can figure out the best way to treat your sleep condition or whatever factor that may be affecting your sleep.

How can seniors improve their sleep?

There are many ways that seniors can improve their sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, feel free to try some of these suggestions. However, if you are having an issue with falling asleep or staying asleep for more than a few weeks, make sure to consult your doctor so that a proper diagnosis can be established for your condition.

If you are having trouble sleeping, make sure that you take steps to socialize and increase your physical activity during the day. This may include visiting a library or a senior center that may offer senior activities such as classes and volunteering opportunities where you can socialize and get some exercise. Physical activity will put you in a better mood and may reduce your stress and help with your sleep.

Proper sleep hygiene for better sleep.

Sleep is extremely important for our health and well-being. Therefore, having proper sleep hygiene is so important. Essentially, these are the things you should do to improve your sleep. This will help you get an adequate amount of sleep and get you into a routine that you can follow for better sleep.

Things to do before bed for better sleep:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on the weekends
  • Do some physical activity during the day, preferably outside in the sunshine
  • Socialize with other individuals
  • Use your bedroom for sleeping only
  • Try to do a relaxing activity before bed such as reading, playing music, a bath, etc.
  • Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature
  • Minimize outside noise if possible

Things to avoid before going to bed include:

  • Alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals before bed
  • Exercising right before sleeping
  • Daytime naps
  • Electronic devices and TV

Senior Home Care Milwaukee WI

Are you or a loved one in need of senior care? Assisting Hands Home Care can help. We offer a full range of senior home care services to help seniors age in plan in Palos Heights, Homer, Tinley Park, Worth, IL, and the surrounding areas. 

We will develop a care plan for your loved one that attends to their needs so they can safely age at home. Our professional caregivers will provide companion care for your loved one and make sure that they are taken care of right in their own home.

For more information about our home care services, call us today at (773) 207-3767