In the twenty-first century where the Internet and mobile devices are a constant distraction, there has been a sharp increase in instances of sleep-related problems, in particular insomnia. This phenomenon is even more pronounced among elders, who, from a biological point of view, are more prone to developing insomnia. A survey conducted at the start of the century by the National Sleep Foundation reveals a very disturbing statistic: close to half of the elders who responded revealed that they were suffering from insomnia. Considering the above, what can they do to alleviate this debilitating condition? Read on to find out more tips on how to get better sleep for the elderly.
While some people can immediately fall asleep upon placing their heads on their pillows, many of us are not able to do so. Therefore, it is necessary to create a conducive environment that facilitates sleep. The ideal environment should be devoid of light and sound. If you have a pet at home, make sure it does not beg for your attention at night. If it does, place them elsewhere. Also, sleeping on a bed is always more comfortable than on a couch or a reclining chair! Invest in a high-quality bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.
In the past hundred years, a massive change has taken place concerning food consumption in the developed world. People are consuming more processed foods which are chock-full of sodium, sugar, and other additives, which has resulted in the rise in cancers and heart disease. A high sugar intake can severely impact one’s sleep routine.
To improve one’s sleep, the elders should instead adopt a healthy diet that is full of lean proteins, unsaturated fats, and vitamins. Fruits and vegetables should ideally be consumed daily. Two to three hours before bed, drinking non-caffeinated tea, such as chamomile tea, will stimulate the production of melatonin, a naturally recurring chemical that helps one to sleep.
Another way to stimulate the production of melatonin is regular exercise. While it is understandable that the thought of regular exercise can be daunting for the elders, “regular exercise” does not entail heavy weightlifting or marathon running. Rather, twenty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day is sufficient to keep your body in tip-top condition. Additionally, regular exercise also slows down cell aging, which goes to say that the body of an active elder is biologically younger than that of a sedentary one, and this should help to greatly enhance your sleep.
At Discovery Village At Twin Creeks, our Dimensions Health & Wellness program offers a variety of exercise classes that suit the interest and physical capability of each resident, as well as our Celebrations Activities & Events to ensure that there is a suitable activity for everyone.