Everyone feels better when they are well rested, so it’s no surprise that a good night’s sleep is a crucial part of a senior’s health.
However, the changes to the body that comes with age make it challenging to get enough rest each night. Insomnia, trouble falling asleep, and waking up in the middle of the night are all common symptoms that can make it difficult for seniors to get a full night’s rest.
Here are some reasons why caregivers should make sure their aging loved ones get a healthy amount of sleep every night:
Lower Overall Stress Levels
One of the most effective ways of chasing away stress is to get plenty of rest. It gives the brain a chance to relax and recover from all the big and little irritations that occur throughout the day.
Stress can cause blood pressure to rise, leading to a variety of health issues. Because chronic stress has been linked with heart conditions in old age, anything that lowers such stress levels could be useful for seniors.
If you’re not sure where to start, try reading a book, listening to calm music, or meditating before bed. These activities can help you relax, which will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
Older adults who want to alleviate stress and enjoy a high quality of life can benefit from professional in-home care. In Dayton, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method™, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Protect the Brain from Alzheimer’s
People tend to feel confused when they do not get enough sleep, and new research suggests that a lack of sleep in the elderly may contribute to the development of dementia. The brain uses sleep to repair itself and store memories, so it is crucial in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to a study published by the University of Oregon in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, getting between six to nine hours of sleep a night can protect cognitive abilities.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s home care.
Dayton seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.
Enhance Glucose Metabolism
According to a 2009 study from Nature Reviews Endocrinology, poor sleep is directly correlated with difficulty metabolizing glucose—one of the primary symptoms associated with diabetes.
Over time, poor sleep can lead to chronically high blood sugar that increases the risk of diabetes and causes a lot of damage throughout the body. However, as seniors get a full night’s sleep, they are able to regulate their blood sugar levels more effectively and lower their risk of developing diabetes.
Reduce Arthritis Symptoms
Did you know that getting enough sleep has a direct effect on how the body handles pain?
People who are already sleep-deprived tend to have more difficulty functioning while they are in pain. Sleep deprivation can also cause an increase in inflammation, which tends to make the pain associated with arthritis worse.
Because sleep can alleviate the aches and pains of arthritis, seniors with arthritis should do their best to get a full eight-hour night’s rest.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Getting enough sleep can help seniors maintain a healthy weight. Sleep assists with weight loss because it balances blood sugar and helps the body metabolize fat.
While it can feel tempting to reach for a quick sugar fix when feeling tired, this can make weight loss much more difficult in the long run.
Make sure your loved one eats a healthy dinner before going to bed each night—that way he or she will be able to maintain a healthy weight and sleep more soundly each night. You may even try offering them a cup of calming herbal tea to help get their minds into the right state for relaxation.
As an added bonus, being well rested tends to make a senior more likely to choose healthy meals the next day!
Lack of sleep can lead to a number of health issues in aging adults. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place.
However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional 24-hour care. Dayton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call Home Care Assistance at (937) 817-0383 to schedule a free in-home consultation.
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