Tossing and turning? Sleeping well instead? How you sleep can greatly impact your daily interactions - and your overall quality of life. Although age can affect sleep patterns, you should strive for 7 to 9 hours a night according to the National Institute on Aging.
There are signals, however, that you might not be getting the rest you need, such as:
- Waking up feeling tired every day
- Unable to go to sleep or to stay asleep
- Experiencing memory problems or forgetfulness
- Feeling irritable or depressed
- Balance issues
If you’re finding sleep more difficult, consider the sleep tips for seniors included below and talk to your health care provider.
The advantages of a good night’s sleep for seniors
A healthy sleep routine can provide the following benefits:
- A learning and memory brain boost
Healthy sleep is about both quality and quantity. If you consistently find it difficult to get the right amount you need, you may experience more of a challenge to hold on to new information and recall memories.
- Supports emotional health
Sleep provides your brain the chance to process your emotions, helping to decrease negative reactions. If your lack of sleep is chronic, you may experience an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety or panic disorders.
- Lowers risk for heart disease
Your body continues working while you sleep, providing a break for your heart and blood vessels. As your blood pressure lowers, your cardiac health can improve.
- Resets your blood sugar levels
While in a deep sleep, the amount of glucose in your blood drops, making it easier for your body to respond to your cells’ needs. This can also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Helps fight off germs
Good sleep can help your immune system work more efficiently at identifying harmful bacteria and viruses and to destroy them. Those who suffer frequent bouts of sleeplessness can become ill more often.
- Aid in weight control
There is a connection between being well-rested and feelings of hunger. Sleep deprivation can adversely affect hormones that control your appetite. A healthy diet and exercise also may aid in the quality of sleep.
Sleep tips for seniors
Steps you take before you go to bed can greatly affect your quality of sleep at night. Following these sleep tips for seniors may help you get the rest your body and mind needs to live and age well:
- Keep a regular sleep schedule
Going to sleep and getting up at the same time, even on weekends, can help you establish a regular routine for healthy rest. Your body will become used to this schedule, making it easier to maintain.
- Develop a personal bedtime routine
People who sleep well often follow a nightly routine. Consider this sleep tip for seniors and find what works best for you, whether it’s taking a relaxing bath, reading a book or listening to calming music.
- Avoid television or using electronics before bedtime
When occurring before bedtime, stimulating your mind or being exposed to the light from your laptop or phone is known to make it more difficult for sleep.
- Create a bedroom that’s inviting for rest
Another sleep tip for seniors is to turn your bedroom into a quiet and restful space with soothing colors, comfortable bedding and just the right temperature - not too hot or cold.
- Avoid napping in the late afternoon
If a nap helps you function better or is a chance to get your second wind, follow this sleep tip for seniors and avoid shutting your eyes in late afternoon or evening. Dozing too close to bedtime can make falling asleep more elusive.
- Exercise at the right time
Exercising and staying active are great ways to promote a restful night but the sleep tip for seniors’ rule of thumb is to not participate in strenuous activities within three hours of your bedtime.
- Watch what you eat and drink before sleep
Avoid large meals before bedtime as well as caffeine later in the day or in the evening as both can keep you awake. Another sleep tip for seniors? Alcohol consumption can also make it harder for you to stay asleep.
Life at Eskaton Communities
The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.
The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living.
We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:
- Private residences
- Delicious and nutritious meals
- Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Creative activities and therapies
- Fitness centers and exercise classes
- Housekeeping services
- Transportation services
- 24-hour staffing
- Free Wi-Fi
- And much, much more!
If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions that you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living. To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.