As we grow older, we need to stay active to keep our bodies and system in shape. The older a person gets the less our bodies want to function so keeping it in shape is very important for all of us, even the younger people.
Sleeping is very important to all of us as we are aging. Aging brings on a different sleep pattern and we need to learn how to control it so when it is time to sleep we sleep well. It is normal as we age that it becomes harder to get a good night’s sleep and feel rested when we wake up. Sleeping is as important as our diet and activities.
Did you know that it is hard for women to sleep more so than men in their aging years? Women have more tendencies to feel stressed out more and they sometimes are just too busy to get themselves into an exercising routine. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, it will reduce your alertness during the day because you’re tired. Long periods of sleepless nights can cause high blood pressure and aren’t good for the heart either.
There are many reasons why some people can’t achieve a restful night’s sleep. Sometimes you might sleep but it is a light sleep and we need to have a deep restful REM sleep. Sometimes you may awaken during the night from pain perhaps caused by arthritis. Sometimes you may experience heartburn, which causes you to get less sleep. Snoring or feeling depressed sometimes can also cause you to lose sleep. You may have a stressful day followed by a lack of sleep. Muscle spasms can also cause a person to lose sleep.
How you can reduce the problems that cause you to lose sleep:
Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can cause us to lose sleep. Try not to drink liquids before going to bed, and stop smoking. Smoking not only harmful to your body but it can cause you to lose sleep. Excessive noise in the house, the TV or radio in the bedroom, and snoring are some more reasons that can keep us from sleeping. Don’t try to go to bed and watch TV or listen to the radio; this will only keep you awake longer. You can learn to enjoy exercises to reduce muscle spasms and/or arthritic symptoms. You can also reduce eating unhealthy foods that cause heartburn, or drinking caffeine-based substances before you go to bed to improve your sleeping pattern.
Do you have a pet that sleeps with you? Even though you think they are giving you comfort it could cause you to lose that precious sleep you need. You may not realize it but every time your pet moves, maybe snore; you can hear this while sleeping. Maybe you might have to get your pet a bed and let him sleep on the floor next to you. If you have allergies, your pet may be the cause, which can make you lose sleep as well.
Napping is not good if you take one during the day for more than 25 minutes. I realize that maybe your not getting enough sleep during the night and you get tired in the afternoon. However, when you lie down during the day and sleep for a long time when it is time to go to bed, you’ve had just enough sleep that you’re not as tired.
Before you lie down to rest, you should also consider drinking a warm glass of milk. Studies have shown that warm milk helps a person to relax.
What are the common causes of insomnia and sleep problems among adults?
1. Poor sleep habits and sleep environment
These include irregular sleep hours, consumption of alcohol before bedtime, and falling asleep with the TV on. Make sure your room is comfortable, dark, and quiet, and your bedtime rituals conducive to sleep.
2. Pain or medical conditions
Health conditions such as a frequent need to urinate, pain, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, nighttime heartburn, and Alzheimer’s disease can interfere with sleep. Talk to your doctor to address any medical issues.
3. Menopause and post-menopause
During menopause, many women find that hot flashes and night sweats can interrupt sleep. Even post-menopause, sleep problems can continue. Improving your daytime habits, especially diet and exercise, can help.
Older adults tend to take more medications than younger people and the combination of drugs, as well as their side effects, can impair sleep. Your doctor may be able to make changes to your medications to improve sleep.
5. Lack of exercise
If you are too sedentary, you may never feel sleepy or feel sleepy all the time. Regular aerobic exercise during the day can promote good sleep.
Significant life changes like retirement, the death of a loved one, or moving from a family home can cause stress. Nothing improves your mood better than finding someone you can talk to face-to-face.
7. Lack of social engagement
Social activities, family, and work can keep your activity level up and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep. If you’re retired, try volunteering, joining a seniors’ group, or taking an adult education class.
8. Lack of sunlight
Bright sunlight helps regulate melatonin and your sleep-wake cycles. Try to get at least two hours of sunlight a day. Keep shades open during the day or use a light therapy box.
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