Good sleep is essential to healthy living, no matter what your age. And while how much sleep you need varies from person to person, in general, it’s recommended that seniors over 65 get approximately 8 hours of sleep each night to help restore energy levels and feel refreshed the next day.
However, for many seniors, getting a restful night’s sleep isn’t always so easy. In fact, according to the Canadian Sleep Society, nearly half of all seniors’ experience sleep issues. And an estimated 70% report regularly experiencing at least one symptom of insomnia.
Without regular restful sleep seniors may feel sluggish, tired, inattentive and are at a higher risk for dangerous falls and accidents. And over time, too little sleep can even contribute to cognitive decline, memory loss and increase your risk for developing dementia.
It’s not uncommon to experience changes in your sleeping patterns as you age. Many seniors cite they are more tired earlier, wake up earlier or sleep less deeply. However, insomnia, either trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or both, is not a natural part of aging.
There is no singular cause for insomnia in seniors, but common causes may include, poor sleep habits, such as falling asleep at irregular hours or falling asleep with the tv on; medical conditions such as pain, arthritis, diabetes, heartburn and Alzheimer’s disease; menopause and post menopause in women; medications; lack of activity during the day; stress and anxiety, as well as lack of social engagement. Lack of sunlight, which helps regulate melatonin, a hormone which helps maintain your sleep cycles, as well as conditions like restless leg syndrome (RLS) and sleep apnea, can also contribute to insomnia.
If you believe a medical condition is contributing to your insomnia, be sure to speak with your doctor.
A goodnight’s rest can help seniors stay healthy, active and independent. If you’ve noticed changes in your sleep patterns, here are five tips to help you sleep more soundly:
Looking for more ways to get a better night’s sleep? Here are some additional tips for seniors from the Canadian Sleep Society.
Healthy sleep is just one essential element of healthy living. At Symphony Senior Living, we provide seniors the services and amenities they need to live healthy. From nutritious, community dining options, to regular social activities, to wellness and exercise programs, our residents have everything they need to stay active and independent, all in one community. Contact Symphony Senior Living today to learn how we’re helping seniors live life to the fullest.