There is nothing that is quite as good as getting a good night’s sleep. In fact, this fact is backed by science. Great health, especially for seniors, begins with a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, there are many (maybe you included) who don’t fully understand why this is so important. If that’s the case, keep reading.
Understanding the Importance of Sleep Quality
It’s important to begin with the basics. One thing that you may not realize is that not all sleep is created equal. Sleep can be categorized into two types. The types are rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM).
NREM includes everything from light to deep sleep. However, REM sleep is the stage that is more active. It is when your eyes are moving behind your eyelids, but the rest of your muscles are immobile. It is also the stage when you dream. Each night, a healthy person will cycle through these stages every 90 minutes or so.
The Importance of Good Sleep for Seniors
Each person has their own unique sleep requirements. While this is true, for adults, a healthy range is considered to be between seven and nine hours of rest. The reason for this makes sense. As you get older, your body is more susceptible to illness and disease and you are at a higher risk for injuries. This is also why so many experts recommend you look into the cost of supplemental health insurance for seniors – your medical needs and issues are going to increase with age.
With your risk of disease and injury going up, a good night’s sleep becomes even more important. By getting the proper amount of sleep, seniors can focus on memory care and making their brain much healthier, which will help them fight off dementia. Also, the body needs the proper time to fully rest and recover. Sleep will help to prevent any unnecessary accidents and work with the body’s immune system to repair damages that have occurred, while fighting diseases.
Testing a person’s sleep is similar to taking their temperature. Doctors can use this to learn why some seniors may feel drowsy, anxious, or depressed during the day. It’s crucial to catch these issues as early as possible, as they are linked to more serious problems, such as breast cancer in females, weight issues, diabetes, and various cardiovascular diseases.
Overcoming Cases of Sleeplessness
It isn’t uncommon for seniors to have trouble getting to sleep or remaining asleep as they grow older. However, as mentioned above, not getting adequate sleep can lead to an array of health problems. If your senior loved one is having a hard time getting enough sleep, it is a good idea to take steps to improve this.
One way to improve sleep at night is to get more exercise. Not only is this good for sleep, but general health and well-being for seniors. It’s also a good idea to assess their medications. For example, are there ingredients that may be keeping them up during the night? Is one of their drugs interfering with sleep patterns?
But that is not all. Seniors should try to avoid drinking anything a few hours before they go to bed, especially if they have issues with bladder incontinence. This is going to eliminate one of the most common reasons they may wake up at night. Other tips include controlling the temperature in the bedroom and removing any and all distractions that may be in their sleep area.
Taking the Right Steps Toward a Better Night’s Rest
Getting plenty of sleep is one of the best ways for a senior to improve their health. As mentioned above, a restful night can help to fight disease, illness, injuries, and more. In fact, there are some seniors who have had a complete health turnaround just by ensuring they get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
There’s an added benefit to this. Proper sleep will reduce healthcare costs as the senior will not have to go to the doctor as often, as the health issues they experience will likely diminish over time. This makes it a smart way to improve the health and well-being of any senior.