Today’s society is one in which many people don’t get the required 7 or 8 hours sleep per night they need for good health. As a senior, a good night’s sleep is critical to your well-being. We all suffer from restless nights and insomnia occasionally, but how can you enjoy better sleep overall – and what are the possible adverse health effects when you don’t get sufficient sleep on a regular basis? As trusted Bay Area senior care experts, we have a few of the answers you’re looking for.
First, if you don’t normally get a restful night’s sleep and find yourself having a hard time going to sleep or staying asleep, here are a few tips that may help.
Eat foods such as pineapple, kiwi, and cherries that are rich in melatonin and magnesium.
Instead of staring at the television or computer screen, read a good book. It is a known fact that light from screens not only disrupts the natural sleep rhythm, but also inhibits the release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes good sleep.
Be consistent in your routine; go to bed at the same time every night, and rise at the same time each morning.
In the afternoon and evenings, try to avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or other stimulants that can make sleeping difficult.
Make sure your surroundings are dark. While you may want a night light in the hallway or bathroom to light your way for those middle-of-the-night bathroom trips, keep it as dark as possible. This allows the release of melatonin and reduces the distraction often caused by light.
Make sure the temperature in the bedroom is comfortable. No one can sleep soundly when it’s too hot or too cold. For most people, a temperature of between 60 and 65 degrees is ideal for sleeping.
If you don’t regularly get a good night’s sleep, how can it impact your health?
Columbia University conducted a study involving more than 1,000 seniors over age 65 regarding participants’ sleep habits. Three years later, participants’ sleep habits were followed up on by researchers in order to determine how sleep (or lack thereof) impacted the health of those who participated in the study. It was found that after the three-year time period had passed, 7% of those who participated were diagnosed with dementia. While this is a relatively small group, it’s important to note that, of those diagnosed and who had problems getting sufficient sleep, the risk of developing dementia increased by a whopping 40%. Clearly, good sleep is connected to how the brain performs and its health. The study also revealed that those who had problems staying awake throughout the daytime hours were also at an increased risk of dementia.
Other health issues can also result due to a lack of sleep in seniors, including weight gain and the likelihood of catching a common cold. It’s clear that regularly getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep is essential to seniors’ health.
At Care Indeed, our San Francisco Bay Area home caregivers are available for all of your needs, whether you’re a senior in need of assistance with daily tasks or hygiene, or a family caregiver in need of help so you can attend to your own life. Contact us today, and experience an enhanced quality of life.