We all need to sleep well at night. But long, restful sleeps are often hard to come by. This is especially true for older adults. In addition to general aches and pains that come with age, a need to get up and go to the washroom is often a reason why one can’t sleep through the night. Daytime napping is another reason why restful night time sleeps are difficult for seniors.
According to Rob Newsom on SleepFoundation.org, “research estimates that about 25% of older adults take naps, compared with around 8% of younger adults. While some experts suggest that a short daytime nap may be beneficial, many agree that extended napping and napping later in the day can make it harder to fall asleep at bedtime and create night time sleep disruptions.”
What are the benefits of sleep for seniors?
As you’re surely aware, good sleeps give you more energy when you wake up. Getting re-energized is a vital part of having productive and happy days. For seniors, there are many health benefits to sleeping well. Among them is a decrease in the risk of dementia. On LeisureCare.com, Alissa Sauer explains that studies have found that the brain has a “waste removal” system that removes toxins from the brain while we sleep.
Sleep also improves our immune system, increases emotional well-being, repairs damaged cells and tissues, increases longevity, reduces inflammation and even boosts creativity. “Creativity is crucial to healthy aging,” writes Sauer, “When we sleep, our brains reorganize and restructures memories and skills, resulting in more creativity and a new perspective.”
How does good sleep reduce stress?
Firstly, getting a good night’s sleep helps people to be physically healthy. Sauer cites a University of Chicago study that found that dieters who were well rested lost 56 percent more fat than participants who were sleep deprived. Secondly, good sleep helps people to be mentally healthy. As Sauer points out, having a regular sleep routine can calm the body, improve concentration, regulate your mood and even improve decision making.
“Sleep makes us better problem solvers, and we can handle the stress and anxiety from the day better with a good night’s rest,” she notes, “Cognitive impairments from lack of sleep can give way to impaired job performance and relationship issues, causing stress.”
What can seniors do to sleep better at night?
It’s important to remove all distractions from the bedroom, says Newsom. Turn off the TV, ensure the room is dark and avoid the cell phone. It’s also wise to keep a regular sleep schedule. This involves going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Seniors are also advised to come up with good bedtime routines that will help them relax before bed. This could involve bathing, reading or simply finding some quiet time.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we would recommend using the right bed. Maximizing sleeping comfort and ease of getting in and out of bed is of paramount importance. We’re happy to help by offering adjustable home hospital beds. They are perfect for individuals who have difficulty getting in and out of bed, have sleeping issues or insomnia or are bedridden.