Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Enjoying your golden age as a senior does not mean being tired all the time. There are numerous things you can do to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the things you can do to improve your night’s sleep:

Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on create and follow a regular sleeping schedule. In this regard, go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Maintain your regular sleeping and waking up schedule even when traveling and on weekends.

If you can, avoid napping late in the evening. Napping so late in the day might keep you awake at night.

Create a bedtime routine. Importantly, ensure you have some time to relax right before bedtime. You can opt to read a book, take a relaxing bath, or listen to relaxing music.

Invest in a comfortable supportive mattress. Read these TempurPedic reviews.

Avoid using electronic gadgets such as tablets, computers, and your phone or watching television in your bedroom. The light emitted by these devices will make it difficult to fall asleep. Additionally, consuming alarming content such as horror movies might keep you awake.

Set the AC in your bedroom at a comfortable level. Ideally, the room should not be too cold or too hot. Moreover, it should be as quiet as possible.

As you prepare to head to bedtime, use low lighting.

Schedule regular exercises every day. However, avoid exercising within 3 hours of going to bed.

Refrain from taking large meals before bedtime. A large meal might keep you awake.

Avoid caffeine found in tea, soda, coffee, and chocolate in the late afternoon and evening. Caffeine will potentially keep you awake.

It’s worth noting that alcohol will not help sleep. On the contrary, when you consume alcohol, you’ll find it challenging to stay asleep.

Insomnia Is Common Among Seniors

Insomnia is the leading cause of sleeping problems among seniors 60 years and older. Seniors who have insomnia have trouble falling and staying asleep. It can last a few days, months, or worse case scenarios, years. Insomnia is characterized by:

  • Waking up numerous times during the night
  • Taking too long to fall asleep
  • Feeling sleepy during the day
  • Waking up early and being unable to fall asleep again
  • Waking up tired

Unfortunately, being unable to sleep does become a habit. For instance, some individuals worry about not sleeping even before going to bed. Eventually, they find it hard to fall asleep and/or stay awake.

Some seniors with sleeping difficulties opt to use over-the-counter sleep meds. Others choose to take prescription medicines to aid their sleep. While the meds may work in the short time, they are not a long term solution. Medication does not cure insomnia.

On the other hand, forming healthy sleeping habits and bedtime routines will help get a good night’s sleep in the long run.

Sleep Apnea

Seniors suffering from sleep apnea experience pauses in breathing as they sleep. They may experience these short pauses many times during the night. If sleep apnea is not treated, it can cause other health problems such as memory loss, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Some people have sleep apnea without knowing they have the condition. Snoring loudly as you sleep and feeling sleepy during the day are some of the signs you have sleep apnea.

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, you should consult your doctor to treat the problem. As a treatment option, using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has proven effective in treating sleep apnea. For other individuals, you might need to undergo surgery or utilize a dental device. Additionally, you should consider sleeping in a posture that keeps your airways open.

Movement Disorders And It Affects Sleep

The elderly are also susceptible to periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), restless leg syndrome (RLS), and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder. These disorders can negatively impact your sleep.

Seniors with RLS typically feel like they have crawling, tingling, needles, or pins in one or both of their legs. The symptoms feel worse during the night. If you have RLS, you should consult your doctor for treatment.

PLMD is a disorder that causes people to kick and jerk their legs once every 20 to 40 seconds whilst they sleep. Warm baths, exercise, relaxation exercises, and medication can help manage the disorder.

REM disorder is another condition that affects many older adults and makes it difficult for them to sleep. Under normal REM conditions, your muscles do not move, which leaves you staying still. However, when you suffer from REM sleep behavior disorder, your muscles can move, disrupting your sleep.

Alzheimer’s Disease And How It Affects Sleep

Alzheimer’s disease affects the patients sleeping habits considerably. Some individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease sleep a lot more than usual. Some individuals do not sleep enough. Others wake up numerous times in the middle of the night. Other patients wake up and yell or wander at night.

Consequently, it’s not the Alzheimer’s disease patient who suffers from poor sleep. Caregivers also experience sleepless nights, leaving them exhausted for the following `day.

For caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients, take the following steps to ensure your loved one enjoy better sleep quality and is safe:

  • Clear the floor of any obstacles and objects.
  • Install grab bars in their bathroom.
  • Lock up all medicines.
  • Install a gate across the entrance of the stairs.

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