Older adults sometimes struggle with sleep-related conditions. In fact, someone who is 70 or older may wake up a few times nightly without any underlying concerns. However, sleep disturbances could be due to Alzheimer’s disease, depression, urinary issues, or other problems. It’s essential for seniors struggling with age-related sleep problems to learn how to overcome those issues and get an excellent night’s sleep. Please reach out to SeniorSmart today at 205.460.1124 to learn more about developing better sleep habits.
Why Do People Have Trouble Sleeping?
People are more likely to have trouble sleeping as they age because of natural changes in the body’s sleep patterns. It’s normal for the elderly to:
- Wake up earlier
- Fall asleep earlier
- Sleep lightly, rather than in a deep sleep
While these changes are normal, it’s not normal to have symptoms of insomnia or disturbed sleep. It’s also not normal to wake up tired each day.
Why is it Important to Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
It’s essential to get adequate sleep because sleep helps the body improve memory formation and concentration, repair cells damaged during the day, and refresh the immune system. Getting better sleep helps stave off infections and illnesses since the body has more time to rest and heal.
Those who can’t sleep well are more likely to struggle with problems such as:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Attention issues
- Memory problems
- Nighttime falls
Not getting enough sleep may also increase the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and weight problems.
What Can Seniors Do to Get a Better Night’s Sleep?
There are a few things seniors can do to get better sleep. These four sleep tips for seniors may help the most.
Set a Routine
The human body desires to be on a set routine. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Therefore seniors should listen to their body. If they’re tired, rest. If that tiredness happens too often, then consider speaking with a medical professional.
Adjust Sleeping Patterns
The next thing seniors can do is adjust their sleeping pattern. Is the person waking up at the same time each morning regardless of when they go to sleep? If so, they should try to arrange their bedtime around when they’d get between seven and eight hours of sleep. If they tend to sleep for more extended periods of time, set alarms so they get a specific number of hours of rest each night. Over time, they’ll be able to determine which sleeping patterns work best and stick to them.
Treat Underlying Health Problems
Chronic exhaustion is unhealthy, regardless of a person’s age. Treating underlying conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may help seniors get a better night’s rest and wake up feeling refreshed. Sleep studies can determine if any sleep disorders are keeping them awake.
Talk To the Doctor About Medications
Finally, many seniors can choose to talk to their doctor. If they aren’t waking up well-rested, there may be underlying issues at play. Alternatively, their bodies could be going through natural changes. A doctor can give them more information on using melatonin or other medications to get better sleep.
Contact SeniorSmart For Help
At SeniorSmart, we want all of our clients to be able to rest comfortably. Therefore, with the help of our concierge membership service, we provide seniors with information on a range of topics, including:
- Medicare benefits
- Social security benefits
- Elder law
- Senior living options
- Senior health and wellness