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Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

New Age Care News

As we get older, our sleep patterns can change and many elderly people find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Some people may have trouble falling asleep, while others may find it hard to stay asleep. A bad night’s sleep can affect your overall health and well-being, so it’s important to address these issues as quickly as possible.
 

Most Common sleep Issues for the elderly

There are a few common sleep issues that can affect the elderly. These include:

Insomnia: This is where a person has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Insomnia is a very common sleep problem among the elderly. Some causes of insomnia could be pain, a side effect of medication or anxiety.

Sleep Apnea: This is where an individual's breathing is interrupted during sleep. This can take the form of snoring, gasping, or choking sounds during sleep, which can disrupt sleep patterns.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): This is where a person experiences an uncomfortable sensation in their legs, causing them to move involuntarily. Restless leg syndrome can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
 

How much sleep does an older person need?

Everyone is different when it comes to the amount of sleep they need. On average healthy adults need between 7-9 hours a night and this is also the case as you age. 
 

Tips for a better night’s sleep

There are lots of things an elderly person can do to promote a better night’s sleep. Here are a few ideas to try.
 

Bedtime schedules and routines

Your internal clock likes routine, so try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including weekends. It can be tempting to sleep in but this can mess with your body clock and actually have the opposite effect.

 

Establishing a bedtime routine can also help your body prepare for sleep. Relaxing activities such as a bath, reading a book, listening to quieter music or doing a meditation can all help you calm your mind and help you wind down.

 

Your Environment

A relaxed sleep environment can also contribute to restful night’s sleep. Ensure the room is dark, quiet, and not too hot. Blackout curtains and earplugs may help you to achieve this. 

 

Exercise

Research has shown that elderly people who exercise regularly tend to fall asleep easier, sleep for longer and have a better quality of sleep. Exercise also promotes the production of endorphins, which can reduce stress, making it easier to fall asleep. Even if you have mobility issues there are ways that you can get some exercise. 

Avoid exercise in the evening or just before bed however, as it can stimulate you rather help you go to sleep.

 

Diet

What you eat and drink, especially in the hours before bedtime, can make a big difference to your night’s sleep. Avoid big, heavy meals close to bedtime - keep your evening meal light. Also avoid acidic, spicy, and fatty foods as they can cause heartburn and indigestion.

You should also avoid stimulants such as caffeine, which can be found in drinks such as coffee, tea, soft drink, as well as chocolate. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep so is also best avoided before bed.

 

Naps

While naps can sometimes be helpful, napping too often and late in the day can interfere with your sleep at night. If you do feel like you need to nap, try to keep them short, around 30 minutes.

Seeing a Doctor

If your sleep problems continue for more than a month, and you’ve tried the above lifestyle strategies, then it’s important that you speak to your doctor. They will look at the underlying cause of your sleep problems and recommend the appropriate treatment.

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