As we age, our body changes, but our need for sleep does not change. Like adults of all ages, older people need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Getting that amount of much needed rest becomes harder and harder as we age due to biological changes.
According to sleephelp.org, lack of sleep among the aging population is a serious problem. Somewhere between 30-50% of people over the age of 65 suffer from insomnia. This condition often effects more women than men. This is a major issue as sleep deprivation among the elderly can complicate other health issues and even cause side effects like daytime drowsiness which magnifies the risks of falling.
As we age, sleep gets much more difficult for many different biological reasons. Alterations to our bodies circadian rhythms, and a higher prevalence of sleep disrupting medical conditions get in the way of our ability to get all of the sleep our body needs.
All of this information poses the question: How can I get better sleep as I age?
Talking with your doctor is a great first step to improving your sleep. If you have struggled with insomnia, or do not feel rested after waking up in the morning, it is important for your doctor to know.
The next thing you can do to get better sleep is step up your sleep hygiene. Make sure you are sleeping on a reliable mattress that is comfortable and gives your back the support it needs. Choose a pillow that is supportive so that you can rest your head and support your neck. Normally, a cooler bedroom is recommended for a good night’s sleep, but find the temperature that works best for you.
It is recommended that you eliminate or limit your naps throughout the day. Napping can make it harder to sleep at night. If you do feel the need to nap, make sure it is before 3pm and less than an hour. Exercise is key to a good nights sleep as well, as getting moving makes you more tired by the end of the day. Getting in some sun is another way to help synchronize your body’s internal clock.
All information was derrived from an article by sleephelp.org
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