How to Improve Your Sleep After Age 60

buy accutane online in canada As you age, do you find it harder to get to sleep or stay asleep? Do you get up several times through the night? Maybe you wake before sunrise and can’t get back to sleep. As a result of these sleep issues, you might find yourself dozing off through your favorite television shows during the day.

For most adults over the age of 60, sleep problems are common. Approximately 71 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds have some trouble sleeping. However, that doesn’t mean that poor sleep has to be a part of normal life. Poor sleep is not a consequence of aging itself but of other factors that are related to aging. Many of these factors can be changed.

Find out why older adults are more likely to experience sleep problems and steps that you can take to get a better night’s rest.

How Much Sleep Do Older Adults Need?

Your sleeping needs do change as you get older. Adults ages 65 and up should get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.  

Why is getting enough sleep important?

Getting enough rest is extremely important as insomnia is associated with consequences to your physical and mental health.

  • Older adults that have insomnia are more likely to have mood disturbances, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and anxiety.
  • Insomnia is associated with falls, decreased quality of life, nursing home placement and mortality in seniors.

Tips to Improve Sleep

If you are having difficulty falling or staying asleep, these tips from Illumina Medical Centers may help.

Talk to your doctor

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, the first step is to see a doctor for an evaluation. Research indicates that sleep problems in the elderly tend to be related to physical or psychiatric illnesses. Physical conditions, such as sleep apnea, diabetes and kidney disease all contribute to sleep issues. Anxiety, depression and dementia are all connected with insomnia, as well. Your physician can help you better manage these problems so that they don’t interfere with your sleep.

Additionally, some medications used to treat these issues can also cause sleep problems.  Your doctor can also review your medication side effects to determine if your insomnia could be due to a medicine that you are taking. If this is the case, they might change the time that you take the medication or put you on another one.

Stick To A Consistent Bedtime

Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day. Try to stick to the same sleep schedule even on the weekends. Your body has a sophisticated homeostatic system that carefully maintains the balance between wakefulness and sleep. A regular sleep and wake schedule helps reinforce your body’s natural sleep regulation system. It also helps strengthen your body’s natural circadian rhythms.

Stay Active

Exercise is vital for sleep. It has been shown to improve sleep for people that have obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia. Research has found that people that exercise on a regular basis are more likely to report better sleep than people that are not physically active. Exercise not only improves the quantity of sleep but it also enhances the quality. Research has documented that daytime physical activity stimulates more prolonged periods of the most restorative and deepest stages of sleep. While studies have found that exercise improves sleep, that is only true if you exercise earlier in the day. Heavy physical activity later in the evening may make it harder to fall asleep. So, plan your workouts for the morning.

For more information and sleep and aging, visit Illumina Medical Centers. We help Medicare recipients with health care needs. Learn more about all of our services today.