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How Good Sleeping Habits Can Help Promote Senior Health – Edmonton

How Good Sleeping Habits Can Help Promote Senior Health – EdmontonGetting enough sleep is super important for health and wellbeing at all ages, but becomes especially crucial in older age.

Making sure that the right balance of both sleep quality and number of hours slept is consistent in seniors’ routines is deeply important for both mental and physical health. Sleep plays an essential role in allowing the body the proper opportunity to perform and complete various processes that support the fighting of illness and the promotion of healing. Sleep is also a key player in creating feelings of relaxation, restoration, and rejuvenation of body and mind. It is not unusual for seniors to start to have troubles with their sleep that start to inhibit some of the critical functions that a proper night’s sleep offers for physical and mental health. Seniors in Edmonton can benefit from creating a better understanding of the possible contributors to their sleeping problems so that they can begin to implement strategies and practices that can help create and foster better sleeping patterns and, by extension, better overall wellbeing.

How Much Sleep?

The fact that seniors are often less physically active and, therefore, might exert less energy during the day, means that there is a tendency for people to think that seniors require less sleep than they did when they were younger. Realistically, however, the advised amount of sleep for adults stays pretty much consistent from around age twenty through to the senior years. While the number of hours of sleep that an individual needs varies based on multiple factors of personal circumstance, the majority of adults should be aiming for between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. While feelings, rhythms and schedules may undergo changes in older years, as many seniors begin to experience tiredness earlier in the evening and wake earlier in the morning, the reality is that seniors need just as much sleep as younger adults.

Sleep Troubles for Seniors

There are many factors that can cause seniors to have greater difficulty falling and staying asleep, and the actual quality of rest that they experience may be less than restorative. While there are multiple stages of a proper night’s sleep, most of the healing and rejuvenation takes place during what is known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep. Seniors generally tend to experience a decrease in the amount of time they are able to spend in the REM sleep stage and this can prevent them from being able to get all the positive benefits that sleep should provide for the body and mind. Multiple features of seniors’ lives can cause insomnia and other obstacles to good sleep for seniors, such as:

  • Sleep Apnea (Interruption or Cessation of Breathing While Asleep)
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Medications
  • Health Issues
  • Frequent Urination
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis

Each of these factors alone can significantly alter the quality of sleep that occurs, and seniors must often contend with a combination that can make sleep challenging, frustrating, and unsatisfying. If insufficient rest, poor sleeping patterns, or any of the problems listed above are altering daily life in a meaningful way, consult a healthcare professional to see what lifestyle changes or treatments may be appropriate.

Promoting Good Sleep

Good quality sleep is imperative for seniors’ health in a number of different ways. It can, however, be challenging for seniors to get the type of sleep they need each night. The following are some strategies to help seniors get on track with good sleep patterns:

  • Remember Emotions: Emotional factors can have a huge impact on sleep quality. If seniors are anxious, depressed, or worried, it can be harder to set thoughts aside and find enough calm to fall and stay asleep. Integrating techniques or treatments to manage mental and emotional struggles can have a positive effect on sleep patterns.
  • Move More: Adding a bit of physical activity into the day can help to promote longer, more complete, and better quality sleep.
  • Make It Comfortable: Creating a comfortable space that encourages a good night’s sleep is important for seniors dealing with sleeping problems. Try managing light, noise, and physical comfort, and anything else that might make the environment better for sleep.
  • Keep Track of Behaviour: Limiting or controlling behaviours that undermine the best sleep possible can help to give seniors the chance to get the most out of their nights. Try limiting time spent in front of a screen before bed, as well as caffeine and alcohol consumption.
  • Get to the Root: Numerous factors can contribute to a poor quality of sleep, so it can be helpful to try to figure out which of these factors are coming into play for a particular senior in order to address them. Researching the side-effects of medications or the symptoms of health problems can help bring potential culprits of poor sleep to light.

The ways in which our sleeping patterns impact our lives extend beyond our beds and out into the rest of our days. Insufficient or poor quality sleep can lead to a whole bunch of negative feelings, emotions, and symptoms for seniors, so it is important to make getting good quality sleep a priority. Exploring possible behaviours, circumstances, or concerns that are getting in the way of proper sleep and working towards using strategies that help create a better sleeping pattern can help seniors in Edmonton to sleep better, and feel better during the waking hours as well.


Contact us today for a Free Home Care Assessment by a Nurse to discuss how our services in Edmonton can help provide support to you or someone you love.