Healthy Tips for Seniors: Sleep Time
An appropriate amount of sleep is essential for any age group, but especially for senior citizens. Along with the physical changes that occur with age, changes in sleeping patterns can be a part of the aging process. It is recommended that senior citizens get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. Learning how to manage sleeping problems can be challenging, but the importance of sleep for physical and mental health is very important. Not being able to get control of sleeping issues can affect senior citizens in the following ways:
- Proper amount of sleep helps maintain brain health and lowers the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
- Inadequate sleep can affect ones moods. A lack of sleep can decrease hormone levels that can result in irritability, stress, and depression in severe cases
- Lack of sleep can affect concentration
- Sleep deprivation impairs learning by affecting the ability to store and recall information
- Without an adequate amount of sleep, the body’s healing process can be delayed. Your body depends on rest to fight any infection or to repair damaged cells and tissue
- Not getting enough sleep can also increase the risk of falls due to insomnia, reduced concentration, and slowed response time
- Lack of sleep can decrease a person’s pain threshold
The following are suggestions to aid in providing sleep quality:
- Regular exercise
- Reduce caffeine intake as caffeine is a stimulant that can make it harder to fall asleep
- Avoid spicy foods and large meals close to bedtime
- Avoid drinking fluids before bedtime as it can cause you to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom
- Create a bed time routine and try not to use your bedroom for any type of “work,” allowing your bedroom to be a relaxing place
- Review your medications with your physician to access any medications that if taken at the wrong time can cause issues with your sleeping pattern.
- Natural remedies including melatonin and lavender sachets can aid sleep
If you or your loved ones are having sleeping problems contact your physician for further assessment. If you, as a Treemont Independent Living resident, do not have a primary physician, Senior Allegiance has arranged for two physicians, Dr. Zaharia and Dr. Ahmed, to do in home visits. Call our office at 713-975-1519 for information on how to arrange a doctor visit with one of those physicians.