Sleep Awareness Month: How to Improve Senior Sleep Patterns

Sleep deprivation and other sleep issues can impact senior health significantly. Learn how to improve sleep patterns for seniors.
An average of 71/2 to 9 hours of sleep each night is considered healthy for most adults. Seniors are often unable to sleep this much due to a variety of sleep-related problems. During sleep awareness month, learn what can be done to help seniors establish healthy sleep patterns. *Sleep Awareness Month is sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation
How Aging Affects Sleep
Unfortunately, changes in sleep patterns are a normal part of aging. Many seniors have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. In some cases, the challenge is due to a sleeping disorder or the side effect of a medication. However, sleep disturbance in the aging is often just the result of reduced REM sleep. In other words, seniors tend to be lighter sleepers. They wake up more often due to noise, aches, movement, the need to use the bathroom, etc.
Sleep Tips for the Aging
To make the most out of sleep, seniors can use these simple tips:
Prevention Tips
Some sleep problems can be prevented using these tips:
•Maintain a healthy weight
•Address breathing problems
•Track medications and corresponding side effects
•Develop a healthy mindset
•Stick to a routine
•Don’t nap for more than 20 minutes at a time
Home Care Tip
Sleep problems can cause mental health issues. They can also be a sign of an existing mental health problem. If a senior has difficulty with sleep and exhibits emotional trouble, suggest that they have their mental wellness evaluated.