The ability to enjoy deep, restorative sleep usually diminishes with age. Frequent bathroom trips and periods of wakefulness, combined with the anxiety of moving into a care facility, can increase the risk of insomnia, as well as conditions associated with poor sleep patterns such as memory loss and heart disease. Improving sleep for seniors can help to extend life and health span. Considering that most sleep problems are associated with stress, poor sleep environment, lack of exercise and social involvement, and medications, making a few adjustments to your lifestyle and sleep environment can allow you to enjoy better quality sleep. Below are some changes to consider. Install low-wattage bulbs in your bedroom, and avoid the TV, computer, backlit devices (tablets and smartphones) and other sources of bright artificial light at least one hour before going to bed. This will help to boost your melatonin levels—the hormone responsible for making you…> Read More
Over the the average person’s lifespan, the amount of time spent sleeping each day varies drastically. Newborns spend anywhere from 16 to 20 hours per day sleeping. Between the ages of one and four the amount of sleep we need decreases to 11 or 12 hours. The required sleep declines further as a person progresses through childhood, and entering adolescence we typically require roughly nine hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle to function at our physical and cognitive best. Adults through middle age typically need at least eight hours, and although the elderly require roughly the same, they may find it hard to acquire all eight of these hours in one block of time. Additionally, our sleep patterns—the way in which we sleep and the degree to which we sleep—also change. A newborn’s sleep in incredibly sporadic. The need to eat and sleep are cyclical and frequent; one often begins…> Read More
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