How Good Sleep Leads to Better Senior Health

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According to the National Institute on Aging, more than half of all seniors experience sleep problems. This includes having difficulty falling asleep, waking frequently throughout the night, and sleeping for fewer hours at night. Although some seniors and their caregivers assume this is normal and naps will make up for lost sleep, this isn’t the case. 


Why Getting Enough Sleep Is Crucial


To understand why we need sleep, it’s important to know what sleep does for our bodies. Sleep allows the body to devote all of its resources toward healing and repairing itself. This includes everything from helping the body recover from a cold to repairing muscles and strengthening bones. Lack of sleep renders the body incapable of allocating energy to these healing processes, which can cause serious health issues and weaken the immune system. 


Sleep also allows the body to balance hormone levels it needs to function properly. For instance, sleep helps the body produce enough of the hormone leptin, which signals a feeling of fullness. Individuals who don’t get enough sleep are likely to feel hungry more often, eat too much, and have a higher risk of obesity. 


Seniors can get adequate rest at night by making healthy lifestyle choices, and professional caregivers can be wonderful sources of information and support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. You can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.


Habits that Can Prevent a Good Night’s Sleep


There are several habits that can prevent sleep, including too much daytime napping, distractions such as watching television in bed, and consuming too many alcoholic or caffeinated beverages throughout the day. Timing of medications can even make sleep more difficult. It’s possible to take control of some of these habits, but you shouldn’t change the timing of your loved one’s medications without consulting with the doctor first. 


If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Pearland families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. 


What Can Be Done to Promote Sleep


Sticking to a regular wake and sleep cycle can keep your loved one’s internal clock from getting confused. Going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day can help the body establish good sleep patterns. If caffeine has a tendency to keep your parent awake, encourage him or her not to eat or drink anything caffeinated within six hours of bedtime, or urge your loved one to completely cut caffeine out of his or her diet. Heavy meals and alcoholic beverages should also be avoided prior to bedtime. 


The good news is there are quite a few things seniors can do to get some much-needed sleep. Experts recommend keeping the bedroom somewhat cooler than the rest of the home, turning off the television and radio, and limiting naps throughout the day. Increasing activity earlier in the day can also assist in tiring your loved one for better sleep. 

Lack of sleep can lead to a wide variety of health issues for elderly people. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Pearland seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Assisting Hands Home Care can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.