The Importance of Quality Sleep for Seniors

person sleeping in bedroom

Last Updated 7/19/17 10:48am | Sleep is a crucial part of feeling rested and ready to take on the day. More and more seniors find they cannot get good quality sleep.

This can cause issues for the elderly, which can then affect aging in place and independence.

Do you find you have trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night? If you answered yes, there is no need to worry; Alert1 is here to help.

Read on to find out why you may not be getting adequate sleep, and learn tips to help you sleep better.

The Problems of Poor Sleep

tired and sleepy man

Many seniors don’t realize the effects that poor sleep has on them. Although it may seem like something you can ignore, the effects on your body should be taken seriously.

Sleep deprivation may cause:

  • Attention and memory problems. Poor quality sleep may cause memory loss and forgetfulness. Sleep helps your brain store new facts and information.

    When you get poor sleep, you prevent yourself from retaining this information. Sleep not only helps your body rest and recharge, but it also helps your brain learn and remember.
  • An increased fall risk. You may feel groggy or less alert if you aren’t getting enough rest from sleep. This makes you more prone to both day and nighttime falls.

    Since you aren't fully awake, obstacles in the home become dangerous tripping hazards. Remember to always wear your Alert1 fall detection pendant. This will guarantee you get help fast if a fall occurs, no matter what time it is.


Some Causes of Poor Sleep

person napping too much

There are countless reasons as to why seniors cannot get good quality sleep, and it varies for many. The good news is that many of these reasons are more obvious than you think.

The sooner you know the cause, the sooner you can fix it. Some of the most common sources of inadequate sleep for seniors comes from:

  • Napping too much. Naps are a refreshing way to get rest during the day but can easily turn into deep sleep.

    This will then affect your sleeping pattern at night. You should aim to nap for 45 minutes or less, earlier in the day. Doing so will help ensure you do not affect your nighttime sleeping pattern.
  • Consuming too much caffeine throughout the day. Caffeine stimulant strength can last longer as you age.

    It’s important to be mindful of the amount of caffeine that you consume, and what time you have it. For example, you should not drink coffee too late in the day so that it doesn't keep you awake.

    Even if you have a cup of coffee early in the day, its effects can carry over into the night and affect sleep quality.
  • Medications interrupting sleep quality. Many medications that seniors take as they age are known to affect sleep quality.

    Taking too many can also interfere with getting good quality sleep, and many seniors are on more than one type of medication. See your doctor about adjusting the dosage, timing, or switching the medication entirely.

Tips for Achieving Proper Sleep

happy cats sleeping

Everybody deserves to have a good night’s rest. By making just a few simple changes to your sleeping habits on a regular basis, you can improve your quality of sleep.

Some easy ways to achieve proper sleep are to:

  • Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule. If you sleep and wake at the same time daily, your body will get used to it and you won’t be kept up all night. Your body has an internal clock, and sticks to a pattern.

    If you sleep at inconsistent times, your body’s internal clock will not stay on schedule.
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. In the past, seniors aged 65+ were advised to get more sleep than middle-aged adults, who required 7-9 hours.

    Now the National Sleep Foundation recommends seniors should also get 7-9 hours.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress. Ensure the mattress is right for your back and posture. You shouldn’t sleep on a mattress that is too soft or too firm.

    If you cannot sleep well on your mattress, buy one that provides comfort and support for your body.
  • Fall-proof your room. When you wake up in the night to use the bathroom, the last thing you want is for a slip and fall to occur. Fall-proof your room by removing fall hazards that can lurk in the darkness.

    Remove loose rugs and clutter like clothes and shoes. Remember to also have night-lights installed so you always have a lit path.
  • Keep your Alert1 help button within reach. This helps you get good quality sleep by giving you peace of mind in the night. Alert1 advises that you always wear your help pendant, even while you sleep.

    But if you don’t like to wear it while sleeping, at least keep it close on your nightstand. Sleep safe and sound, without worrying of what might happen in the night. And you'll sleep better knowing Alert1 saved you a bundle compared to Life Alert costs.


The Importance of Proper Sleep

dog sleeping happily

Every senior should try their best to get enough sleep. Proper sleep keeps your mind alert, preserves energy levels, and helps you live life to the fullest.

On top of feeling well rested, it can lower the risk of age-related cognitive decline that is common among the elderly.

Start sleeping better today, so you can start aging in place better, every day.

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