As well get older, our body also ages and no longer functions in the same way. As such, seniors need to care more for their bodies and consider making the required changes to various lifestyle activities such as the choice of food and the amount of sleep. Getting the right nutrients, as well as enough rest, can make all the difference in the health and quality of life in seniors. Did you know? 46% of adults that are over the age of 65 experience difficulty falling asleep and getting good rest throughout the night on a regular basis. Seniors with trouble getting quality sleep need to make certain adjustments to their lifestyle to ensure that they get a minimum of 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Read on to the end for some tips for having healthy sleep in seniors.
Why Seniors Find it Difficulty to Get Quality Sleep
When sleeping, our body produces the chemicals and hormones that are necessary for helping us to sleep well. However, in old age, our bodies tend to make less of them. As such, seniors find themselves waking up more often in the night. Apart from that, some seniors also develop sensitivity to external environmental factors such as noise, which may interrupt their sleep.
Apart from that, certain medical conditions can also make it difficult for elderlies to get a good night’s sleep. For example, seniors experiencing Arthritis may find it extremely difficult to fall asleep due to the chronic pain they experience. Conditions like Parkinson’s disease and stroke can also greatly affect the part of the brain responsible for controlling sleep. Apart from these, other conditions may also cause minor inconveniences that make it difficult to sleep, such as bed sores.
Possible Effects of Inadequate Rest in Seniors
Not getting enough rest can lead to a variety of different reactions in seniors, including affected mood, body pain, and even illness.
Regardless of age, insufficient rest has been linked to increased stress, irritability, mood swings, as well as problems with concentration. All of these can greatly impact the quality of life of not only the seniors themselves but also those around them. When sleep deprivation is dragged over to the long term, it may even lead to cognitive issues and depression, which are already extremely common in seniors.
Studies have also shown a possible link between sleep deprivation and body pain such as headaches, weakness, and body aches. Apart from body pain, illness can also arise from a lack of quality sleep. Seniors have immune systems that are not as robust as younger adults, so they require more rest to repair themselves to be able to take on any invasive viruses.
Tips For Improving Rest in Seniors
- Having a fixed sleep schedule. Routine can greatly help seniors to get a good rest. Instead of going to sleep whenever they feel like it, seniors can start trying to sleep at the same time every night, encouraging the body to adjust to a natural sleep rhythm.
- Assisted living options. Apart from the body of seniors, external factors can also play a role in the disruption of sleep. If that is so, living in an assisted living community will help to ensure a conducive environment to sleep in amongst other benefits.