How To improve The Sleep Quality Of Older Adults

Let’s Talk About Improving The Sleep Quality Of Older Adults 

Did you know that a study suggests people aged above 60 will make up more than 21% of the population of the United States of America by the year 2040? Healthcare experts associate a lot of issues with aging, including lack of sleep quality. Older adults face difficulty in sleeping which ultimately has an adverse impact on their lifestyle. 

There are numerous reasons behind the lack of sleep quality in older adults. These include heart problems or any other physical health conditions. Moreover, depression, anxiety, and diabetes come under the leading causes of poor sleep quality among older people. Such conditions often cause pain and discomfort, not allowing an individual to fall asleep effectively. 

When older adults reach the retirement age, they have no choice but to stay home most of the time. This leads to them taking more naps during the day to relax. It disturbs their sleep schedule to a great extent. Research suggests that up to 25% of elderly people take naps during the day. This is significantly low when compared to the statistics of the younger people as only 8% of them indulge in daytime napping. 

How To Improve The Sleep Quality Among Older Adults? 

It goes without saying that staying awake late at night has negative effects on a person’s health, especially an older one age above 60. Older adults need up to 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night, but a lot of them are not getting it due to various factors discussed above briefly. 

A lot of older people prefer taking sleeping pills without considering their short and long-term side effects. It is vital to avoid sleeping pills as your body becomes highly dependent on them. Moreover, it causes lightheadedness, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, drowsiness, and headaches. Hence, it is advisable to resort to the natural methods of improving quality of sleep among older adults. 

If you are someone aged over 60 and find yourself awake after midnight, try these to fall asleep quickly; 

  • Avoid Daytime Naps: If it has not been clear enough yet, you need to overcome the habit of sleeping during the day. Napping makes you fresh while reducing tiredness to a great extent. Therefore, daytime napping means your body will not demand you to go to sleep at night. 
  • Stop Caffeine Consumption: Caffeinated products affect the quality of sleep among older adults as they have a stimulated effect. You need to stop consuming coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc. Experts also recommend people to avoid taking any pain relievers near their bedtime. Smoking should also be avoided in an attempt to improve one’s quality of sleep. 
  • Follow A Schedule: Healthcare professionals believe that our bodies work according to a routine. It is necessary to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. You also need to follow this schedule during vacations and weekends. Take a warm bath, listen to music, and avoid using any electronic gadgets before your bedtime to have a better quality of sleep. 
  • 20-minutes Rule: If you are not asleep within 20 minutes of getting in bed, do not force your body. Instead, get up and start doing a relaxing activity like listening to music, reading a book, meditation, walking, etc. 
  • Exercise: Needless to say, working out is the ideal way of having a healthier lifestyle. Apart from having positive effects on one’s health, exercising also helps in making all parts of their body function at optimal condition. It also proves helpful in improving the quality of sleep to a great extent. 
  • Keep Less Distractions Around Your Bed: Keeping electronic devices around the bed is not the ideal way of going to sleep. You have to keep your smartphones, tablets, and laptops away from the bed. You can put such gadgets in another room. Moreover, do not place the television in your bedroom as it also has a negative effect on sleep. Keep it in living room and make sure not to fall asleep while watching it. 
  • Get Consultation From An Expert: It often happens that a person tries every other measure known to the world for falling asleep effectively but nothing works. In such cases, you can pay the doctor a visit to have your condition assessed by a professional. There could be a single or several underlying causes of poor sleep quality that you cannot judge by yourself. Hence, getting professional help goes a long way in understanding the reasons behind the lack of good sleep and tackling them. 

Final Words 

Making your room dark and cool before bedtime is another way of falling asleep faster. Furthermore, put all the clocks out of the bedroom or inside a cupboard to ensure you are unable to see it or hear its ticking sound.