This writing will give you more details about how much sleep seniors need and what they should do to get better sleep.
Sleeping is essential to maintain the well-being and quality of people’s life. Among 24 hours a day, people usually spend almost 8hrs a day to sleep; that is to say, sleeping accounts for ⅓ the time of our lifetime. Thus, we can see how important sleep is to us all.
Sleep can help improve memory, attention, strengthen the heart, and enhance the immune system. A full night’s sleep helps people recharge energy for the next day’s activities for both young and old persons.
Children and adults usually need a long sleep of around 7-9 hours. When people grow up becoming an adult, they can sleep less and still feel energized throughout the day. But it’s not accurate to a senior. If a senior doesn’t get enough sleep, he/she might quickly get tired, find it difficult to concentrate, pay attention, and even suffer from more severe health problems.
Many things change when people grow old. Biologically and physically, aging makes people more sensitive to the change of their bodies toward the environment. Thus, it also affects how long older people sleep per day.
Before discussing how much a senior should sleep, this writing will explain why older people sleep less than younger adults then later provide some tips about what a senior should do to get better sleep.
How much should a senior sleep?
Sleep needs change over a lifetime of people. Children and adults usually need long rest for physical development. When people grow up becoming an adult, they can sleep less and still feel energized throughout the day. An older adult will need to sleep as long as the children need, like 7-9 hours sleeping per day.
Unfortunately, many old adults sleep less than they need, as mentioned because they have difficulty falling asleep when they get older. In this latter part, this writing will explain why senior adults sleep less than younger adults and how they can do to improve their sleep to gain better health.
Why does a senior sleep less than younger adults?
Many old adults sleep less because they have difficulty falling asleep. According to Comfort Keeper, 46% of adults at the age of 65 or older find it challenging to sleep.
It is not always easy for all old adults to sleep for a long hour. Some senior adults can fall asleep easily in the early evening, wake up in the middle of the night, or even suffer from insomnia.
While the quality of sleep of old adults is affected by several factors: sensitivity to external factors, underlying diseases, reduced levels of hormones, and chemicals to sleep well.
When people get older, the body produces fewer melatonin hormones which helps promote sleep. Furthermore, seniors may be likely to be more sensitive to the environment’s external factors such as noise and temperature, making them harder to fall asleep.
Some old adults, on the other hand, may suffer from pain and anxiety because of underlying medical and psychiatric diseases that make them difficult to sleep as well.
Some people think that it’s not easy to sleep well when aging. But it’s not always true. If seniors know the reasons for sleeping disorders and try some of the suggestions below, it might help resolve the sleeping disorder at night time.
What happens if a senior doesn’t get enough sleep?
Lack of sleep is bad for people’s health and is even more severe for older adults. It can cause several health problems, affects hormones level and brain functions.
Lack of sleep may lead to excessive daytime sleep, depressed mood, memory problems, high blood pressure, weakened immunity, less concentration, and an increased risk of falling.
Thus, having quality sleep for seniors is essential to their well-being and health. Knowing how to get better long sleep for a senior is critical for increasing seniors’ happiness and overall quality of life.
What should a senior do to get better sleep?
Doing exercises outdoor would help senior to fall asleep well
When older adults find it difficult to fall asleep, it’s good that they can seek advice from doctors to know the reasons and have adequate treatments to sleep better. Other than that, they can try a few good things on their own to improve their ability to fall asleep and get sufficient quality sleeping hours.
To sleep well at night, consider daily activities that can significantly impact how you will sleep at night. In this latter part, the writing will provide several suggestions for seniors to get better sleep.
Sticking with a sleep schedule
The first tip to get better sleep is to set a sleep schedule for resetting the internal sleep clock. To do so, seniors should go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This could help seniors to fall asleep on a scheduled plan. By sticking with the schedule, seniors will get used to a regular waking up and sleeping cycle at the same time every day.
Be mindful of eating and drinking in the daytime.
As important as the first tip, being mindful of eating and drinking is a good suggestion. Since some food and drinks don’t have good impacts on your sleep, such as caffeine. Also, it’s better not to drink caffeine like coffee or tea in the late afternoon or evening to avoid sleeping difficulties.
Furthermore, eating and drinking too much and late at night will be hard for people’s digestion systems. Since seniors might not be likely to do physical activities to consume calories at night, food has not been digested yet can cause burden to their digestive system.
Therefore, having healthy meals should be good for sleep. As said, it would help seniors with better digestion, thus sleep better.
Doing physical exercises and spending more time outdoors
Third, seniors can spend more time outdoors during the daytime and do regular physical exercise to burn more calories than their bodies need to regain. By doing so, seniors will find it a bit tired and easy to fall asleep at night. Also, remember not to take a long nap in the day because it might make seniors toss and turn later in the sleeping night time.
Turning off all electronic devices before going to bed
Next, it’s also recommended to turn off electronic devices 30 minutes before going to bed so that seniors are not distracted by news, lights which keep you awake. Staying away from those devices will help seniors to fall asleep easier and quicker. That’s said, seniors should better avoid exposure to bright light while getting to bed because of their more sensitivity to the environment during their sleep.
Keep the bedroom tidy, quiet, and relaxing
Last but not least, keeping the bedroom tidy, quiet, relaxing, and at a reasonable temperature would help seniors feel comfortable laying down on their beds and easier to fall asleep.
Although it could take time to improve your sleep, applying some daily routine adjustments can help improve your sleep day by day. Let’s try to stick with an individualized sleeping schedule, mindful eating and drinking diaries, and doing exercises in your daily routine and see how your sleep changes.
In conclusion, sleep is essential to the quality of our life. Lack of sleep can cause many health problems, from memory issues to cardiovascular disease, causing danger to older adults’ health. It can lead older adults to have a depressed mood, memory problems, high blood pressure, weakened immunity, less concentration, and increased risk of falling.
To improve the quality of life, people should ensure to meet their individual sleep needs. Especially for the older adult when aging, decreased melatonin hormones, anxiety, and possible underlying diseases cause them difficulty falling asleep.
To ensure seniors have a long and deep sleep of at least 7-9 hours a day, seniors should pay attention to set a regular sleep schedule, have healthy eating and drinking habits, do regular exercises, keep their bedroom quiet and relaxing, and stay away from the distraction of electronic devices and bright lights when preparing to sleep.
Although it could take time to improve your sleep and depend on external factors, your will to stick to a daily routine might improve your sleep day by day.
In particular, sticking with an individualized sleeping schedule, mindful eating and drinking diaries, turning off all electronic devices before bedding, keeping the bedroom tidy and comfortable temperature, and doing exercises might be helpful advice.
The final words are if you are stressed by tossing and turning all night because of difficulty falling asleep, those tips are worth trying, right?. Hopefully, applying these solutions will help seniors improve their sleep and gradually have a full night’s sleep. Thus, seniors can live more happily, reduce anxiety, have a good mood, and improve overall life quality.