senior-sleep

Who doesn’t like a good night’s sleep?

Sleeping allows our body—and brain—to rest, and it restores our energy levels. If a person doesn’t get enough restful sleep, it makes us irritable, grumpy as well as inattentive and more prone to accidents.

Getting enough sleep is like eating and drinking properly: essential to quality of life.

Different types of sleep

Sleeping is categorized in to two types: non-rapid eye movement sleep and rapid eye movement sleep. The first kind of sleep includes four stages—ranging from light to deep sleep. When we are in non-rapid eye movement sleep, we cycle through the four stages about every 90 minutes.

Once we’ve done this we go into rapid eye movement sleep and this is the stage of sleep where we start dreaming. It’s also the deep stage of sleep where are muscles become immobile.

Different ages require different amounts of sleep

The amount of sleep our body’s need, changes over time. Kids and teenagers need more than adults. Adults over 60-65 need about the same amount of sleep as kids and teenagers—seven to nine hours per night.

Typically, older adults don’t get enough sleep, due mostly to trouble falling asleep. 36% of women and 13% of men take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep according to a study.[1] Which attributes to over 65s not getting enough sleep.

Another reason is older people tend to sleep less deeply, wake up more often during the night and tend to nap more throughout the day. Daytime napping can interfere with night time sleep schedules.

Is poor sleep a given for older people?

Medical and psychiatric concerns can also affect night time sleep, with some researchers noting people “without major medical or psychiatric illness report better sleep.”[2]

Poor sleep is not a normal part of aging. Healthy people over 65 report few if any sleeping problems. It is true that as we age, sleeping patterns change, however disturbed sleep and waking up tired are not normal; no matter what your age.

If you have trouble sleeping, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

Benefits of getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep

There are number of benefits for people over 65 to get a good’s night rest of 7 to 9 hours. Older people who get a good night’s sleep are less likely to suffer:

  • Depression
  • Attention problems
  • Memory problems
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Night time falls.

It’s important to remember that when it’s suggested over 65s get 7 to 9 hours sleep a night, it’s continuous sleep. Broken sleep, or a few hours here and there won’t have the same restorative value as a solid 7 to 9 hours.

The importance of a good night’s sleep can make anyone feel regenerated and restored. And for over 65s it can help them feel happier, more energetic and even improve memory as well as attention span.

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[1] https://www.agingcare.com/articles/sleep-and-aging-133153.htm

 

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senior care, senior health

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