Getting a good night’s sleep is important for us all. Without an adequate amount of sleep each night, we feel fatigued, sluggish and downright depressed. There are health implications to having restless nights as well. And, unfortunately, things only get worse as we get older. Medical conditions that are prevalent among older adults certainly don’t help them with getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night.
“Basically, older adults tend to get sleepy earlier in the evening, and tend to sleep less deeply than when they were younger,” writes Dr. Leslie Kernisan on BetterHealthWhileAging.net, “So it’s probably not realistic to expect that as you get older, you’ll sleep as long or as soundly as when you were younger.”
So what should older adults do to beat insomnia?
Avoid napping during the day.
Seniors and nap-taking seem to go hand in hand, don’t they? Perhaps perpetuated by the stereotypes portrayed on television and in film, the idea that older adults “need” to nap isn’t exactly a sound way to go about getting sound sleeps. In fact, the opposite is true. When older adults go through their entire days without napping, it helps them to get better sleeps at night.
“Naps during the daytime can also disrupt the circadian rhythm, particularly those longer than 2 hours or close to the evening,” informs Aaron Kandola on MedicalNewsToday.com, “One study found that students who napped at least three times per week for longer than 2 hours or napped close to the evening had a lower quality of sleep than their peers. After a poor night’s sleep, it is tempting to take a long nap, particularly close to the evening. But try to avoid this as it can adversely affect a healthful sleep cycle.”
Take all medical conditions seriously.
As we mentioned earlier, there are numerous health conditions that are common among members of our older population. Not surprisingly, many of them disrupt sleep. As Dr. Kernisan explains, among the most common are heart and lung conditions such as heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which affect breathing.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is another issue that can interrupt the sleep patterns of older adults, as it causes heartburn symptoms. This condition can be exacerbated by eating big meals late at night or close to bedtime. Dr. Kernisan also lists such conditions as osteoarthritis, urinary problems, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as disorders that need immediate attention. It’s important, of course, for seniors to immediately address any health conditions they’re enduring to better their overall health – and also to sleep better at night.
Get a better bed.
A large number of sleep issues are caused by poor-quality mattresses. Whether they are too old or too soft (in both cases, they won’t offer appropriate back support), a bad mattress is a guaranteed way to make a good night’s sleep hard to come by.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we strongly believe that home hospital beds make ideal solutions for individuals who have hard times getting adequate sleep each night. Home hospital beds allow individuals to increase sleeping comfort by adjusting bed positioning with proper therapeutic mattress surfaces.
If you have any questions about the home hospital beds offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!