We’d all love nothing more than to get a good night’s sleep each and every night. However, many Canadians have trouble getting the recommended eight hours each night. Between our very busy work schedules, caring for the kids and fitting in our leisure activities, getting to bed early isn’t always possible.
Seniors, on the other hand, tend to have less busy schedules than the rest of us. But, for them, getting a good night’s sleep couldn’t be more important. As you can imagine, older adults have other issues to contend with that may prevent them from getting full and restful sleeps at night. Between the aches and pains and frequent visits to the bathroom, a good night’s sleep is a rarity for most seniors.
Why is sound sleep so important for seniors?
According to Tim Watt of Sunrise Senior Living, healthy adults should shoot for about seven to nine hours of sleep each night. “The reasoning behind this is simple, as the body gets older it becomes more susceptible to disease and is at a higher risk for injury,” he writes, “Therefore, when seniors get a good night sleep, they can focus on better memory care making their brain stronger to fight against dementia.”
Watt goes on to explain that our bodies require adequate rest to recover from the rigours of each day. With proper sleep, we help our immune systems to repair damage and fight disease. In addition, sleep helps us to prevent accidents. This is especially important for seniors who are susceptible to slipping and falling.
What can cause poor sleep at night?
Believe it or not, too much sleep can be a problem. That is, of course, if it’s done during the day. Andre Caceros of Alert1 alerts us that too much daytime napping can result in unplanned deep sleeps that affect night time sleep patterns. He advises seniors to aim for no more than 45 minutes of napping during the day. Caceros also warns of the dangers of drinking too much caffeine.
“Caffeine stimulant strength can last longer as you age,” he informs, “It’s important to be mindful of the amount of caffeine that you consume, and what time you have it. For example, you should not drink coffee too late in the day so that it doesn’t keep you awake. Even if you have a cup of coffee early in the day, its effects can carry over into the night and affect sleep quality.”
What can be done to improve sleep at night?
You’re not likely to see a list of healthy choices that doesn’t involve exercise. In addition to promoting better overall health, “exercising gives seniors endorphins to improve their mood and tires them out, making sleep come easier at night,” says Watt. He also recommends checking into seniors’ medications to see if any of them can be inhibiting sleep. Removing bedroom distractions and controlling bedroom temperature is also recommended.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we also think it’s important to understand the impact of one’s bed. We proudly offer home hospital beds that allow individuals to increase sleeping comfort by adjusting their bed positioning with proper therapeutic mattress surfaces. Home hospital beds are perfect for individuals who have hard times getting in and out of bed, have sleeping issues or insomnia or are bedridden.