It’s no secret that, as we get older, our bodies go through several changes. Many of them significantly impact our sleeping patterns. While it is certainly natural for seniors to experience changes in their sleep quality and duration, consistent poor sleep can affect their physical and mental health.
Why is getting a good night’s sleep so important for the health of older adults?
It reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
For older folks, getting a good night’s sleep is essential for reducing the risk of chronic diseases. We’re talking about such ailments as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Lack of sleep can contribute to increased inflammation and insulin resistance. Both of these issues are linked to the above-mentioned chronic diseases.
“Research has found that sleep deprivation contributes to atherosclerosis,” reports Eric Suni on SleepFoundation.org, “Plaque forms as a consequence of inflammation, which involves white blood cells, which are produced by the immune system, to collect in the arteries. Poor sleep triggers chronic inflammation, which contributes to plaque formation and hardening of the arteries.”
It improves cognitive function.
A full and restful sleep can enhance cognitive function. It is known to improve memory, concentration and decision-making abilities. During sleep, the brain processes the information received during the day, helping seniors retain and recall important information. Sleep deprivation can lead to memory loss, forgetfulness and reduced mental clarity.
It boosts mood and overall mental health.
Seniors who experience poor sleep are at a higher risk of depression and anxiety. Good sleep helps to regulate mood and emotions. This, of course, reduces the risk of having mental health issues. Adequate sleep is also essential for older adults who suffer from conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because a restful sleep can help to manage symptoms and improve cognitive function.
“Sleep deprivation and mental health are so closely tied that psychiatrists and psychologists consider insomnia an early warning sign of mental illness,” says GetMaple.ca, “For people living with bipolar disorder, sleep deprivation can trigger manic episodes.”
It enhances physical performance.
When elderly individuals get a good night’s sleep, they are able to improve physical performance. Rested seniors are known to have boosted energy levels, reduced fatigue and increased endurance. Older adults who sleep well are more likely to engage in physical activities such as walking, swimming and yoga. They can all improve overall health, not to mention, reduce the risk of falls.
It supports immune function.
For seniors, getting good sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. The immune system helps to protect the body against infections and diseases. Adequate rest enhances its function. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can significantly weaken the immune system. This increases the risk of infections and illnesses.
Is your bed preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep?
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we highly recommend home hospital beds to older individuals who wish to get better sleeps at night. These beds increase sleeping comfort by adjusting bed positioning with proper therapeutic mattress surfaces. Home hospital beds are perfect for individuals who have hard times getting in and out of bed, suffer from insomnia or are bedridden.