Age affects how well we sleep. Getting enough quality sleep is very important. Seniors may not understand the effects that poor sleep habits have on their bodies. These effects should be taken seriously.
Sleep is just as important for a person’s health as proper diet and exercise. A change in sleeping patterns is part of the normal aging process. Still, there are certain steps that lead to a better night’s rest.
Importance of Sleep
Good sleep is important for many different aspects of mental health. It improves brain function. While asleep, the brain is forming pathways to maintain cognitive skills and memory.
It also plays an important role in physical health. For example, sleep helps repair the heart and blood vessels. Getting enough sleep helps maintain a balance of hormones and effects how the body reacts to insulin.
Sleep and Aging
Research shows a correlation between increased age and decreased quality of sleep. Older Americans tend to take longer to fall asleep. They also wake up more frequently during the night and have a decline in REM. However, these problems may be attributed to illnesses and medication.
Tips for a Better Night Sleep
- Establish a regular schedule. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate the circadian rhythms. Try to get 7 – 9 hours per night, if at all possible.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime routine. Dim the lights in the house and turn off all television and computer screens about an hour before bed. Establish a bedtime routine such as warm tea, reading a book, or listening to soft music.
- Optimize the bedroom. Keep the bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. Set the thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees at night. Consider a white noise machine and black-out curtains.
- Invest in a comfy mattress. A supportive mattress makes a huge difference. Most good-quality mattresses have a life expectancy of 10 years. Evaluate if it’s time for a new one.
Anita’s Angels, Inc – we are Families Helping Families. Give us a call at 908-788-9390 to see how we can assist you and your family.