Poor sleep for seniors can affect memory, concentration, and mood, which decreases intellectual and physical performance. Therefore, with the purpose of promoting healthy aging, put these simple tips into practice to improve the quality of your sleep.
Sleeping well is key to a person’s health and essential to maintaining a good quality of life. When a person does not get restful sleep and is sleepy or tired during the day, it is crucial to consult a specialist. Poor sleep during old age can affect memory, concentration, and mood, decreasing intellectual and physical performance. Similarly, it can impair blood pressure and metabolic function, increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Sleep disturbances in the aging process
As we get older, we experience changes in the body and alterations in the routine; the obligations decrease, the energies also, and the modifications of sleep produced by age appear. Older people usually sleep fewer hours at night than young people or children.
A sedentary lifestyle influences the sleep of older adults, causing them to be less tired at night or more rested after the afternoon nap. The number of hours a person needs depends on age and daily physical activity. Even so, the hours of sleep for adults are usually between 7 and 8 hours a day.
What to do to improve the quality of sleep?
It’s essential to keep in mind that sleep disturbance, waking up tired every day, and other symptoms of insomnia are not normal parts of aging. Sleep is just as crucial to your physical and emotional health as it was when you were younger. Therefore, receiving the necessary medical care to regulate sleep at any age is important.
Relief from chronic pain and control of conditions, such as frequent urination, can improve sleep in some people. Treating depression can also improve sleep.
Regarding sleep disorders, several alternatives range from pharmacological therapy, psychological techniques, and sleep hygiene, among others. Considering that the treatment of insomnia must be aimed at eliminating the cause that produces the disorder and causing symptomatic improvement.
Sleeping in a quiet place that isn’t too hot or cold and having a relaxing routine around bedtime can help relieve symptoms. Other ways to promote sleep include following these healthy lifestyle tips:
- Avoid reading, watching television, or eating in bed. Use the room only for sleeping.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Develop relaxing rituals before going to bed.
- Exercise at regular times of the day, but not 3 hours before going to sleep.
- Take walks outdoors and sunbathe.
- Avoid taking naps longer than 20 minutes.
- Avoid heavy dinners or go to bed hungry.
- Try to go to bed at least 2 hours after dinner.
- Drinking warm milk can increase drowsiness.
- Take care of environmental conditions: the body produces a hormone, melatonin, which induces sleep. But this only happens if there is no light in the room. That is why you have to turn off the light when you go to bed.
- Leave bedroom clocks out of sight.
- Of course, stimulants such as caffeine after midday, or alcohol in general, should be avoided.
The inadequate satisfaction of the need for sleep in our elderly can be considered a problem with significant repercussions in the elderly population, so nurses and caregivers must know references and scientific evidence to guarantee good practices that ensure our elders’ health and quality of life.
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