Getting enough sleep each night is a proven way to ensure you can function at peak level during the day. When you are rested you have plenty of energy for doing the things you must do and the things you love to do. However, some people develop sleep problems in late adulthood that can lead to health issues that may impact their quality of life. This guide can help you understand more about common sleep and aging issues, and it provides some useful sleep health tips for seniors.
How Much Sleep Does a Senior Citizen Need?
After reaching 60-plus, it’s common for senior sleep problems to emerge out of the blue. This can cause a person to wonder about, “how much sleep does a senior need?”
The answer is seven to eight hours of sleep per night, just like everyone else. If that surprises you, it’s because there is a myth that older people need less sleep. The reality is that seniors’ sleep requirements are the same as younger adults. Any issues that are disrupting a good night’s rest should be addressed.
How Does Sleep Affect Mental Health?
The impact of sleep on mental health varies, but generally, it’s harder to concentrate and focus during the day when you don’t get enough sleep. In addition to reduced alertness, a lack of sleep can affect one’s mood in a negative way. For instance, some people get downright cranky when they don’t get enough sleep.
Common Sleep Problems
The following are some of the common problems that can interfere with an older person’s normal sleep patterns.
Daytime drowsiness. Being so sleepy that you can barely keep your eyes open is commonly due to lack of sleep. Anxiety, depression and stress are a few issues disrupting sleep, leading to daytime drowsiness. Some prescription medications may also cause this symptom. Natural sleep remedies for elderly persons that contain ingredients that reduce sleepiness are one way to resolve chronic drowsiness.
Insomnia. It’s no secret that insomnia in the elderly is all too common. Causes of insomnia in the elderly are rooted in each individual’s personal health habits, mental and physical issues and lifestyle. Whatever is causing the insomnia, a weighted blanket offers calming, therapeutic pressure that contributes to relaxation.
Nighttime urination. For some, incontinence is the reason why some seniors can never get enough nighttime sleep. This can be resolved with strategic use of quality incontinence products.
Pain. As we age, pain in the joints, muscles and nerves can keep one tossing and turning throughout the night. Luckily, there are natural pain remedies that can bring fast relief.
Restless leg syndrome. Leg spasms and/or twitching is going to make it difficult to sleep. Taking a warm bath or a cool shower before bedtime is one way to reduce, or eliminate, this issue. Another is to use a nighttime homeopathic leg cream that includes magnesium.
Sleep apnea. Breathing obstruction caused by a partial or repeated collapse of the airway is what causes sleep problems for some elderly people. How do you know if you have sleep apnea? Daytime drowsiness, headaches and a lack of mental focus are common symptoms. A CPAP machine is commonly prescribed as a fix for this problem. But is there a way to learn how to cure sleep apnea naturally?
Actually, there are tips that show you how to sleep better with sleep apnea. Switching from a back sleeping position to a side one is one remedy for adults. Another one is to moisten the air by running a room humidifier at night.