The importance of a good night’s rest remains consistent throughout a person’s life. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every day to restore and regenerate bodily functions completely.
However, as people grow older, they find it harder and harder to sleep. If you have noticed, older adults go to sleep early and wake up before everyone else. This is because of a change in “sleep architecture,” as Tuck puts it.
Sleep architecture changes because the neurons in charge of this function deplete throughout the years. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 13% of men and 36% of women-all age over 65 years old-need more than 30 minutes to fall into slumber.
Older adults find it difficult to fall or stay asleep because of several factors:
- Pains from chronic health conditions
- Emotional factors
- Mental health issues
They can also suffer from sleeping disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and movement disorders. In addition to this, Alzheimer’s Disease causes sleepless nights because neurons decrease to about a quarter of the normal amount. Caregivers of places with assisted living for seniors in Ogden will have to stay awake at night to look out for sleepless adults.
Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to avoid and fix sleep-deprivation.
Set your body clock
Because the human body is designed to adapt to a routine, having a sleeping schedule will help adults fall asleep faster. When the body is accustomed to going to bed at a certain hour of the day, it will continue to do so, as long as it is not disrupted.
Avoid any sources of light
The brain associates light with wakefulness. Therefore, keeping the room dark will help condition the body that it is time to fall asleep. Additionally, avoid watching TV or using phones or tablets because these emit blue light. Blue light is what gives the signal to the brain to stay awake.
Take time to relax
As the body calms down, it invites the body to rest. Perform breathing exercises. Meditate. Read a book. Listen to music. Anything, really, as long as it helps you unwind and doesn’t stimulate the brain too much.
Reserve the bed only for sleeping
The brain should associate the bed as a place only for sleep. Avoid doing other activities in bed, like knitting, sewing, completing crossword puzzles, etc., so that the brain does not think of these when you’re in bed. Other activities can be done on the couch, maybe a chair by the window, or in the living room. Just make sure that the best is reserved for sleeping.
Get enough exercise
Exercising helps pour excess energy out. A simple walk around the area or joining other activities with peers can help with the quality of sleep at night. Remember not to do this three hours before bedtime, though, as exercise stimulates your brain and muscles to be more productive for the day.
Sleep is the body’s way of recharging. It regenerates every function in the body to avoid long-term health conditions. It aids with memory and affects a person’s metabolism. A good night’s rest does wonders to the body, and most especially, a person’s mood.