How Seniors Can Build Good Sleeping Habits

18 December 2020

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For seniors, getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes get a little tricky. As we get older, our bodies change in ways that make it more difficult to get proper rest. Seniors may find themselves:

 

  • Getting sleepier early in the day

  • Unable to fall asleep easily

  • Waking up too soon or too often

 

It’s important to address these issues as poor sleep is linked to multiple health issues. Seniors need to sleep for at least seven to eight hours a night to ensure a properly functioning mind and body.

Insomnia and Seniors

Seniors can suffer from insomnia due to changes and drops in certain hormones that promote sleep. Growth hormones in particular cause seniors to experience a decrease in deep sleep. Consequently, their bodies produce less melatonin, which leads to more choppy sleep and waking up unnecessarily. 

 

Thankfully, insomnia can be treated by looking at underlying causes. Addressing sources of stress, anxiety, and depression can do wonders to improve the symptoms of insomnia. 

 

We wanted to highlight some great things seniors can do to improve their quantity and quality of sleep.

Make Sure to Address Medical Concerns

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Sometimes health issues can affect sleep quality for seniors. Pain from arthritis, difficulties breathing, and frequent urination are just some of the problems that can affect how well seniors can sleep. By working with their doctors and properly managing health concerns, seniors can significantly improve their ability to sleep well.

How Sleep Can Benefit Seniors

Seniors can experience many incredible benefits by improving the quality and quantity of their sleep. By allowing their bodies to rest well, seniors can also cut their risks of developing serious illnesses. 

 

On the other hand, a lack of sleep can lead to the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression. Cultivating good sleeping habits is an easy way for seniors to fight back against these conditions.

Cut Back on Caffeine Late in the Day

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Drinking or eating food with caffeine can reduce sleep quality. To reduce the effects of caffeine on your sleep, try to avoid it later in the day. This can help ensure you fall into a deeper state of sleep than you would if caffeine was still present in your body.

Get Ready for Bedtime 

Seniors can benefit from sticking to a consistent bedtime routine throughout the week. Developing bedtime rituals such as reading, drinking warm milk, or listening to music can also be very helpful in signaling to the brain that bedtime is near. By consistently waking up and sleeping at the same times, our bodies can more easily get a good night’s rest. 

Exercising Earlier in the Day

Staying active and participating in aerobic exercises can help promote quality sleep in seniors. Remaining sedentary can actually reduce feelings of sleepiness or make seniors sleepy too often.

 

Since exercise can trigger the stress hormone cortisol, it’s better to work out at least three hours or more before you go to sleep. Cortisol makes the brain more alert, which can make it harder to fall asleep. For this reason, try to work out a bit earlier in the day.

Exercising Earlier in the Day

Staying active and participating in aerobic exercises can help promote quality sleep in seniors. Remaining sedentary can actually reduce feelings of sleepiness or make seniors sleepy too often.

 

Since exercise can trigger the stress hormone cortisol, it’s better to work out at least three hours or more before you go to sleep. Cortisol makes the brain more alert, which can make it harder to fall asleep. For this reason, try to work out a bit earlier in the day.

How Seniors Can Build Good Sleeping Habits

18 December 2020

Sleeping Habits.png

For seniors, getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes get a little tricky. As we get older, our bodies change in ways that make it more difficult to get proper rest. Seniors may find themselves:

 

  • Getting sleepier early in the day

  • Unable to fall asleep easily

  • Waking up too soon or too often

 

It’s important to address these issues as poor sleep is linked to multiple health issues. Seniors need to sleep for at least seven to eight hours a night to ensure a properly functioning mind and body.

Insomnia and Seniors

Seniors can suffer from insomnia due to changes and drops in certain hormones that promote sleep. Growth hormones in particular cause seniors to experience a decrease in deep sleep. Consequently, their bodies produce less melatonin, which leads to more choppy sleep and waking up unnecessarily. 

 

Thankfully, insomnia can be treated by looking at underlying causes. Addressing sources of stress, anxiety, and depression can do wonders to improve the symptoms of insomnia. 

 

We wanted to highlight some great things seniors can do to improve their quantity and quality of sleep.

Make Sure to Address Medical Concerns

Seinors%20in%20the%20Park_edited.jpg

Sometimes health issues can affect sleep quality for seniors. Pain from arthritis, difficulties breathing, and frequent urination are just some of the problems that can affect how well seniors can sleep. By working with their doctors and properly managing health concerns, seniors can significantly improve their ability to sleep well.

How Sleep Can Benefit Seniors

Seniors can experience many incredible benefits by improving the quality and quantity of their sleep. By allowing their bodies to rest well, seniors can also cut their risks of developing serious illnesses. 

 

On the other hand, a lack of sleep can lead to the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression. Cultivating good sleeping habits is an easy way for seniors to fight back against these conditions.

Cut Back on Caffeine Late in the Day

Cafe Latte.png

Drinking or eating food with caffeine can reduce sleep quality. To reduce the effects of caffeine on your sleep, try to avoid it later in the day. This can help ensure you fall into a deeper state of sleep than you would if caffeine was still present in your body.

Get Ready for Bedtime 

Seniors can benefit from sticking to a consistent bedtime routine throughout the week. Developing bedtime rituals such as reading, drinking warm milk, or listening to music can also be very helpful in signaling to the brain that bedtime is near. By consistently waking up and sleeping at the same times, our bodies can more easily get a good night’s rest. 

Exercising Earlier in the Day

Staying active and participating in aerobic exercises can help promote quality sleep in seniors. Remaining sedentary can actually reduce feelings of sleepiness or make seniors sleepy too often.

 

Since exercise can trigger the stress hormone cortisol, it’s better to work out at least three hours or more before you go to sleep. Cortisol makes the brain more alert, which can make it harder to fall asleep. For this reason, try to work out a bit earlier in the day.

Leaner Body Composition

Seniors (and people of all ages) with shorter sleep cycles tend to weigh a lot more than people who get enough sleep. This can happen because of metabolic changes that happen when the body doesn’t get enough rest. 

 

Sleep-deprivation also causes people to eat more often than they normally would. This occurs due to a disruption in appetite hormones and a weakened ability to regulate appetite. So if you’re a senior to lose some weight and build a healthy metabolism, try to establish healthier sleeping habits!

Increased Concentration & Productivity Levels

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Seniors (and people of all ages) with shorter sleep cycles tend to weigh a lot more than people who get enough sleep. This can happen because of metabolic changes that happen when the body doesn’t get enough rest. 

 

Sleep-deprivation also causes people to eat more often than they normally would. This occurs due to a disruption in appetite hormones and a weakened ability to regulate appetite. So if you’re a senior to lose some weight and build a healthy metabolism, try to establish healthier sleeping habits!

Improved Immune Response

Getting a good night’s sleep can do wonders to boost a senior’s immune system. Aging individuals who get a good amount of quality sleep are much less likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses like the common cold. These seniors can also recover faster if they do in fact get sick. 

 

Wondering how sleeping helps boost immune response? When we sleep, our bodies produce and release proteins called cytokines. These proteins are used to fight against infection, inflammation, and protect aging bodies from illnesses. 

 

If seniors don’t get enough rest, they simply cannot make as many cytokines. This can leave them vulnerable to viruses as their protection levels are decreased.

Conclusion

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In conclusion, establishing good sleeping habits can be very beneficial for seniors when it comes to improving their health. Seniors should focus on improving both their quantity and quality of sleep to ward off chronic diseases and improve cognitive function.

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