When senior citizens were younger, they probably didn’t take getting a good night’s sleep so seriously. Whether it was pulling an all-nighter when they were in college or working 12 to 16 hours a day inside a factory or behind a desk, they could get by on a few hours of shut-eye. But studies have shown that a lack of sleep can affect both your mental and physical health.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) recommends that adults, especially older adults, need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. However, seniors may have a difficult time falling asleep, either because they are sick or in pain. Seniors who do not get enough rest during the night may experience certain ailments the following day, including irritability, forgetfulness, depression and more falls or accidents.
There are other health problems that are brought on by poor sleep habits. These include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
In addition to getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night, the NIA offers these tips that will make you restful and relaxed throughout the night:
- Avoid taking naps of 30 minutes or more. Although you may feel tired during the day, you might not be able to fall asleep later that night.
- Set the same bedtime schedule — when you go to bed and when you get up — every day. That also includes Saturdays and Sundays.
- Find a routine to get you ready for bed, whether it’s a warm bath, reading a book or listening to soothing, calming music.
- If you exercise, try avoiding doing it within three hours of bedtime. Although you may feel physically tired, your heart rate and temperature may be raised, making it harder to fall asleep.
- Avoid eating heavy meals before going to sleep. That may result in stomach issues that could keep you awake. Also, stay away from caffeine late in the day (that includes coffee, tea, soda and chocolate). Be careful of taking certain medications as well, as those can keep you awake. Avoid alcohol, as that will actually keep you awake.
- Turn off all electronic devices before going to bed. These serve as distractions and will prevent you from getting an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
- Set your bedroom to a comfortable temperature and lower the lighting in the room as you prepare for bedtime.
McPeak’s Assisted Living provides care for your loved ones while ensuring they maintain a happy, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle, right here in Suffolk County, Long Island, near downtown Patchogue. With our affordable prices and excellent standard of care, we have the facilities to accommodate your loved one’s needs and allow them to live to the fullest. For more information, please call us at (631) 475-0445 or visit our contact page.