As people get older, their sleep habits and needs change. It’s common for older adults to sleep less deeply and wake up more often during the night. This may be due to poor sleep habits, sleep disorders, or other medical issues. Whatever the case may be, it’s a good idea for seniors to adopt healthy sleep routines and avoid behaviours that may negatively impact sleep. If you or a loved one is having problems getting restful sleep, some of these tips may be beneficial. These aren’t just exclusive to seniors; if you’re a caregiver suffering from decreased sleep quality, these tips may benefit you as well.
When getting a good night’s sleep, it’s important to have your bedroom set up in a way that promotes healthy rest:
There are a number of things you can do before bed to make it easier to fall asleep, and ensure your sleep quality is deep and restful:
Many common behaviours can negatively affect sleep, and it’s important to be aware of these so that they can be avoided:
Getting restful sleep is extremely important for older adults, as sleep deprivation and insomnia have links to increased risk of dementia. Seniors should follow the tips outlined in this post to ensure they have the best chance at achieving the deep, restful sleep that they need. If these tips don’t provide relief, there may be an underlying medical condition preventing healthy rest. If this is the case for you, it’s important to talk to your doctor and figure out the cause.
There are various common conditions which cause sleep problems for seniors. These can include medical issues like heart, lung, gastrointestinal or urinary problems. Breathing disorders like sleep apnea disrupt normal sleep and lead to tiredness, and are extremely dangerous if left untreated. Insomnia is also very common among seniors but can be effectively treated with methods like cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness meditation, or simple exercise. Other issues like side effects from medication, restless leg syndrome, and chronic pain can commonly affect sleep as well. For those that deal with these issues, the support of a medical professional is recommended.
Wendy studies English Language and Literature at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.
Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.
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