Is a good night’s sleep important for Seniors?

According to the Public Health agency of Canada those aged 65 years and older should aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. One in every four Canadian seniors report they sleep less than this each night.

Inadequate sleep can contribute to memory loss and cognitive decline effecting our decision-making ability and our short and long-term memory.

It is also thought that older adults who don’t sleep well are more likely to suffer from depression, attention problems, excessive daytime sleepiness and experience more nighttime falls.

 

Benefits to a good night sleep for Seniors

Adequate sleep restores energy levels and promotes healing. During sleep the brain can trigger hormones that encourage tissue growth, make more white blood cells that can attack viruses and bacteria and boost our immune system.

A good night’s sleep prepares us for tomorrow’s events. Good sleep helps our bodies to feel refreshed and our minds to feel positive and ready to begin a new day. 

Reasons why Seniors may be not sleeping:

  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Pain
  • Incontinence issues
  • Going to bed too early
  • Sleeping during the day

Sleep Solutions:

As we age our sleep patterns may change.  Many seniors go to bed earlier and get up earlier, or sleep during the day, adjusting sleep times and staying stimulated throughout the day time hours can help.

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Follow a regular sleep schedule
  • Daily exercise
  • Create a calm, comfortable sleep environment
  • Listening to classical music 20-30 minutes prior to sleep time
  • Meditation

Things to Avoid

  • Napping during the day
  • Caffeine & Alcohol
  • Large meals too close to bed time
  • Exercise, close to bed time
  • Watching TV, using your computer or phone close to bed

 

No matter the reason, if you don’t get a good night’s sleep you may be irritable, forgetful, feel hopeless and may be prone to accidents and falls.

 

Homecare West Senior clients know that having someone with them throughout the night gives peace of mind not only to them but also to their families. Whether it’s the need for assistance to the bathroom, or a late-night companion when it is difficult to fall asleep our qualified home care assistants are ready to help.