Whether you’ve had difficulty sleeping your whole life or these issues are only beginning in your senior years, there’s no doubt the importance of sleep is just as high, if not higher, in your later years. It’s important to understand the potential causes of poor sleep and how it relates to aging so you can work toward getting the quality of sleep you need to stay as healthy as possible. After all, the body and the mind both require sleep in order to recharge and stay sharp throughout your life.
Before exploring the correlation between aging and sleep and how it affects senior living, it’s essential to understand why it’s so necessary to make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night, especially as you get older. There are many benefits of sleep, including:
Boosted Immune System
A Happier Life
Reduced Food Cravings
Many people are under the false impression seniors don’t need as much sleep as their younger counterparts, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many good reasons seniors should be getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, just like everyone else.
Those who reside in senior living communities in Oklahoma City may seem to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier as well, along with requiring more naps throughout the day. Why is this? As your body ages, it produces less growth hormone, which contributes to the pattern of deep sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed when you wake up. This means seniors are getting less of this sleep and may actually need more hours to rest up than younger generations. Many of these changes are normal, but if you experience any significant differences in your sleep patterns or habits, it’s always beneficial to discuss them with your doctor to uncover any potential underlying issues that could be dangerous to your overall health.
The good news is if there are no underlying medical issues causing you to feel tired or to lose sleep, there are a few things you can do to help improve or even resolve your sleep issues. For instance, despite feeling tired, avoiding naps later than 3 pm can mean all the difference in falling asleep at an appropriate time and getting enough sleep throughout the night. Here are some other tips that can help:
Take a hot bath before bed
Aim for a regular bedtime
Go out in natural light for at least 30 minutes per day
Don’t exercise before bed
Avoid alcohol and caffeine within eight hours of bedtime
Keep your bedroom cool and dark with no electronics
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, talking to your doctor can help you determine if there is something else causing your issues or if there are other recommendations that could help you personally.
At Village at Oakwood, our Oklahoma assisted living community wants our seniors to get the sleep they need to be productive during the day. Contact us to find out how we help our residents.