How seniors can benefit from a good night of sleep
Written by Ellie Porter at Sleep Help
The common joke is that as we get older, it gets harder to sleep. It’s actually true.
Nearly 42% of senior citizens reported having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep according to a 1995 report. This could be because our eyes yellow as they get older, making it harder for us to take in the blue light that keeps our brains awake during the day. It could also be because we aren’t as active as we were were younger or because we have other illnesses that cause other problems. However, that doesn’t change the fact that getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important and could make a impact on your day-to-day life as you get older.
The following are ways that seniors can benefit from a good night’s sleep.
When you sleep, your body produces cytokine proteins that help your body to heal. The deeper you sleep, the more of these proteins your body can create, making it easier for you to heal and keeps you healthy for longer. This means that you can enjoy more of your golden years.
If you are struggling with memory, it might be because you are not sleeping well. When you are in REM sleep, your body connects things that happen to you during the day and stores them within the recesses of your mind. This can help to keep you more independent than you would be otherwise.
When you don’t sleep well, you are less aware of your surroundings. When you are well rested, your body communicates with itself a whole lot better. This means that you are less prone to falls and injuries and your body has to do less work heal itself while you sleep. This will lead you to feeling much less fatigued throughout the day and help you to have more fun!
How to Improve Your Sleep
Here are some tips on helping improve your sleep.
Take All Medicines on Time and Use Medical Devices
Medications are well known for having side effects that can mess up your daily routine. When it comes to your bedtime, medicines that you take in the afternoons and evenings can cause you to be wakeful instead of sleepy. If you are noticing this, talk to your doctor about changing when you take a medication or finding one that works better for you.
You also make sure to use a CPAP or BiPAP machine if these have been prescribed for you to get a good night’s sleep.
Try Light Exercise Before Bed
This may seem counterintuitive, but getting some light exercise has been found to help lower symptoms of disturbed sleep and to help wear you out enough to actually fall asleep when you get into bed. Something like swimming, yoga or a light jog would be perfect for this because it uses your energy without bringing your heart rate up and causing your adrenaline to pump. Talk to your doctor about what exercises might be right for you.
Want More Health Education and Tips?
Every month, we present topics and educational events to help our senior community live a full and healthy life. Check out our Health And Wellness Education page for upcoming events and links to past presentations.