Toledo, Ohio
2451 N Reynolds Rd, Toledo, OH 43615
(419) 535-7777
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Sleep Health For Older Adults and Seniors

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Toledo, Ohio.

Sleep Health For Older Adults and Seniors

Sleep is an extremely important health habit for seniors. Proper sleep is just as important as diet, exercise and regular medical care. Whether it is not enough, too much or bad sleep habits, there is much that can go wrong (and right) with your sleep behaviors. 

A good night’s sleep can be harder to get as we age. 46% of adults 65 and older have trouble falling asleep and sleeping well through the night on a regular basis.

Since March is National Sleep Awareness Month—and, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders—let’s focus on three things that will help you develop healthy sleep habits. 

How Much Sleep Do You Need

Your body’s sleep needs depend on many things, but age is one of the biggest factors. According to WebMD, infants, toddlers and school-aged children need plenty of sleep time (at least 10 hours a night) while most adults typically require about 8 to 9 hours. The latter range holds true for those 65 and older. 

Most sleep experts indicate that if you feel tired during the day, yawn excessively or lose concentration easily, you probably have what is commonly called “sleep debt.” In this case, adjust your sleep schedule and ensure you are getting the sleep your body needs. 

A lack of sleep is not only hazardous to your body, but it can also be a danger to you and others around you as poor judgment, reaction time, and other motor skills are all impacted by your sleep. 

Sleep Stages and Routines 

There are five different stages of sleep, with the first two stages defined as “light sleeping.” Other significant stages are “deep sleep” and “rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.” Deep sleep is important because it allows your brain downtime while it also gives your body time to reinforce your immune system. 

REM sleep usually begins about 90 minutes to two hours into your night’s rest. This is when your breathing will increase, your blood pressure rises and your eyes can move around rapidly. Most dreams occur in REM sleep. This stage of sleeping is critical for learning and memory as your brain processes information for long-term recall. 

Sleep experts also advocate for regular routines (going to bed and getting up at the same time each day) and keeping electronics like TVs, phones and tablets off and out of sight before bedtime. Simple things like the cleanliness of your bedroom, lighting and temperature can also impact your ability to sleep soundly. 

Overcoming Sleep Challenges

Pain from arthritis or chronic illnesses can affect your ability to sleep soundly. Similarly, some medications can impact your sleep quality. Your doctor can help you determine the cause and provide solutions. Hormones play a role in your ability to sleep too. Menopause or any imbalance of your hormones can affect your sleep cycle.

Don’t forget about diet! What we eat and drink can also affect our sleep. Alcohol, spicy food, caffeine and a diet high in sugar can all cause sleep issues.

If you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, there are some best practices to consider along with consulting your primary care physician. Many times, light background sounds, e.g., a fan, soft music, and even subtle lighting can help create a nice sleep atmosphere. Try some light reading or journaling. Both of these activities help your body wind-down and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

With some simple actions, you can sleep well, feel better, and function more optimally during your awake hours. 

Good sleep is the ultimate “Comfort Keeper” ...

For seniors who want to change their daily routine and create a schedule for better sleep, caregivers with Comfort Keepers can help. They can assist with scheduling and routine, increase physician-prescribed activity during the day, support diet plans, and can provide transportation to scheduled appointments.

Better sleep leads to more happiness. Our goal is to help every client live a joyful life, regardless of age or acuity.