How Aging Changes Your Sleep & What You Can Do About It
The experts in assisted living facilities believe that although your sleep pattern changes with age, it is essential to ensure that you get enough sleep to remain healthy and active.
There is a common misconception that seniors tend to sleep less because they need less sleep than younger people. The truth is, every individual, regardless of age, needs to rest for 7 to 9 hours every day. Read on to learn what you can do to get a good night’s sleep.
What Causes Sleep Changes in Older Adults?
Insomnia is a common issue for most older adults. According to the specialists in assisted living communities, a change in the living condition or a stressful event can disrupt your sleep pattern.
Here are some common things that may cause insomnia:
- Illnesses and Health Problems
Medical conditions can often affect your rest. Ailments such as restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and arthritis can make sleep a challenge for you.
Some medicines tend to hamper your sleep pattern and keep you awake at night. Ensure that your doctor is aware of the medications you take as they may recommend other medicines that don’t affect your slumber.
After retirement, you may become less active during the day, which could affect your sleep-wake schedule. Try to keep your body and mind active by visiting the gym, going for a walk, learning a new skill, or spending time outside.
- Lifestyle Changes
Things such as illness and financial problems can cause stress, making it hard for you to sleep. It helps to talk to your family or schedule an appointment with a counselor who can help you manage the stress.
- Other Causes
Chronic sleeping problems may also result from an underlying issue such as depression, anxiety, menopause and physical discomfort.
If you have sleeping troubles persistently, it helps to seek professional help. Remember to keep a record of the amount of sleep you get, wakefulness, and fatigue patterns to help the doctor understand the problem.
Treating Sleeping Issues in Seniors
If you are experiencing sleep issues, visit your doctor. These methods are suggestions to help manage the issue and hopefully improve your sleep.
- Do Not Self-medicate
If you are having trouble sleeping at night, do not grab some over-the-counter sleep aids or supplements. Talk to your doctor and discuss your sleep problems so they can come up with a suitable solution.
- Cut Back on Alcohol
Alcohol tends to wake you up frequently at night and early in the morning, thus lowering the quality of sleep. This can make you feel lethargic and tired during the day.
- Develop Better Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene includes the activities you perform during the day that could affect your sleep at night. Good practices include staying away from caffeine before bedtime, following a regular bedtime schedule, and starting a pre-bed ritual. Short afternoon naps and regular exercise can also help.
- Create a Calm Environment When Sleeping
It helps to make your room a calm and peaceful place. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet when sleeping, and you could use earplugs and blackout curtains to tune out the light and noise. Also, avoid using bright and loud electronics before bedtime.
- Get CPAP Treatment
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure helps to treat sleep apnea, which is where your breathing gets disturbed when you sleep. The treatment requires you to wear a nasal or face mask during sleep. The mask is attached to a pump to provide a continuous airflow into the nasal passages, keeping them open.
Find Comfortable Housing in Our Assisted Living Facility
At Wyndemere Woods, we strive to create a warm and friendly atmosphere for seniors in our assisted living apartments. We help them enjoy their retirement lifestyle while taking proper care to ensure better health.
For more information about our assisted living community, feel free to call us at 401-371-3220 or fill out our online form to schedule a tour with us.
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