Sleep is an essential part of our lives. It helps to wake up feeling fresh in the morning and ready to tackle the events of the day. Despite this, a good number of seniors are unable to sleep comfortably during the night. This lack of sleep for seniors is a big deal.
Even the experts from TryMattress.com say that “the lack of sleep can affect a senior person’s health as well as their independence”. In this piece, I’ll discus why you may not be getting enough sleep, and share some tips that might help you get a more healthy, restful sleep.
Lack Of Sleep For Seniors Can Cause Problems
A good number of seniors don’t know the causes of their of lack sleep. In my research, I’ve realized that it’s something which is often ignored, yet its effects can be quite severe. The lack of sleep for seniors poses many challenges, among them:
- Memory and attention challenges – Poor quality rest causes forgetfulness and loss of memory. It also hinders your brain’s process of storing new information.
- Increased risk of falling – As a result of feeling drowsy, a person may probably feel less alert and groggy during the day. This can contribute to day and night time falls.
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Causes of Lack of Sleep
There are several reasons that can contribute to a lack of sleep for seniors, and unfortunately these are are quite common issues. The quicker you identify the problem the quicker you can implement lifestyle changes to fix the problem.
So, what’s causing you to sleep less at night?
- You may be napping for a long period of time – When you were young, you could take two-hour naps in between the day. However, now that you’re older, it’s easy for these short hours of sleep to become deep sleep.
- You may be drinking a lot of caffeine during the day – Caffeine lasts for a long time in your system, even as you grow old. So, it’s essential to take note of how much caffeine you’re consuming. For instance, avoid drinking coffee in the late hours of the day to prevent waking up during the night.
- Medications interrupt sleep quality – Physicians routinely prescribe multiple medications as we age. Sometimes these medications (and possible interactions) can prevent you from getting enough deep sleep. If you suspect this as a cause, make sure you visit your doctor to help you in adjust your timing and/or dosage.
How to Get Proper Rest
We all need a restful night’s sleep and we may need to make some lifestyle changes to improve our quality of rest. Here's a few strategies that may help you get more rest during the evening hours:
- Keep a regular wake routine – if you sleep and wake up at the same time daily; your body’s internal clock will stick to that pattern. But when you don’t maintain consistent sleeping times, the internal body clock will have a difficult time keeping you on schedule.
- Try getting around nine hours of sleep per evening – The National Sleep Foundation advices that seniors should get close to nine hours of sleep!
- Sleep on a cozy mattress – Make sure that the mattress suits your posture and back. Avoid sleeping on a bed that’s either too firm or too soft!
We need to learn how to take care of ourselves, especially as we age. By being aware of your sleep patterns, you take an important step in ensuring that you get enough rest during the night.
Restful sleep can keep your brain alert and your body energetic. Here's to enjoying many future nights of counting sheep!