- Up to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder
- 48 percent report snoring
- 37.9 percent fall asleep unintentionally during the day
- Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder impacting 30 percent of adults
And the statistics rise as we age.
Many seniors don’t realize the effects poor sleep has on their lives. Especially when they may have other conditions seemingly more serious. Sleep deprivation may cause:
- Attention issues
- Memory problems
- Increased risk for other diseases
- Increased risk of falling
Of course, there are countless reasons why a person can’t get a good night’s sleep. The good news is good sleep is easier to achieve than you think. For most seniors, they can’t sleep at night because:
- They nap too much during the day – try and limit them as much as possible.
- They consume too much caffeine – consume as little as possible if you have sleep issues. Switch to decaffeinated coffee or tea, and avoid sodas whenever possible.
- They have medications that interrupt sleep quality – see your doctor about adjusting dosage, timing, or switching the medication entirely.
As you make changes that might be impacting your reasons why you can’t sleep, you can also put in actions to help you achieve proper sleep. Some easy things to do are:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time – your body has an internal clock and can regulate when you rise and when you go to bed. Listen to it.
- Aim for 7 to 9 hours each night. The National Sleep Foundation now recommends that 7 to 9 hours is the right amount of sleep for people over 65.
- Get a new mattress. If you can’t sleep well, or it’s been a few years since you’ve replaced your mattress, find a new one that supports and provides comfort.
- Fall-proof your room. You should always have an easy way to move between the bed and the bathroom in light and dark situations.
Everyone – seniors included – deserve a great night sleep. Proper sleep helps keep your mind alert, allows you to focus throughout the day, preserves your energy levels, and help you live life to the fullest each day.
Start sleeping better today.