How to Overcome Sleep Issues as You Age

How to Overcome Sleep Issues as You Age

There are many issues that arise with getting older—and sleeping is, unfortunately, one of them. Due to the fact that our bodies begin to tire, slow down and stop working as they once did when we were young, seniors are oftentimes privy to a range of new medical concerns. Depending on medications, illnesses or other life changes, seniors can experience sleep problems that normally stem from having medical issues. 

If you are a senior looking to overcome sleeping issues that have developed with old age, there are fortunately many ways to understand and overcome your insomnia or restlessness. In addition to getting a helpful sleep aid for your bed like a pillow or new mattress, you can explore other techniques that may work. Taking control of your sleep patterns will effectively allow you to get a good night’s rest and feel rejuvenated at the start of every morning. 

Causes of Sleep Problems for Seniors

Certain medical issues common amongst seniors like heart failure, Alzheimer’s and arthritis can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep. Feeling uncomfortable in bed due to sore joints, an over-tired body, or a rapidly beating heart will make it nearly impossible to catch some shut-eye. Having a medical alert system is one way to have peace of mind when you have an ongoing condition or illness. However, even less serious medical conditions, like restless leg syndrome, can also affect how you can fall or stay asleep.

Besides having to deal with troubling symptoms of medical conditions, certain prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs can also lead to sleep problems in seniors. If you ever think that your medications may be causing insomnia or other sleep issues, be sure to contact your physician. Sleep issues in seniors can also be caused by big life changes, like retirement, moving to a new home, or death of a loved one.

Tips to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

When you’re lying in bed awake at night, you have likely felt defeated by the sleep that simply refuses to come. This can be extremely frustrating—especially for seniors, who need sleep more than other age groups in order to replenish their full energy. Knowing some of the potential medical reasons for sleep issues, you may want to test out these tips to help you fall asleep:

  • Wear yourself out by making sure you engage in physical activity or exercise every single day – even if it means something as simple as going on a walk.
  • Get some sun! Being outside in the light will let your body know when it should be awake, and when it is time to wind down and go to sleep.
  • Limit naptime to 20-30 minutes per day. While many seniors need to take naps, they should avoid naps lasting more than 30 minutes, which may upset their body clock.
Understanding the underlying medical reasons that may be affecting your sleep habits as a senior, you can begin to try other constructive techniques to help you get a good night’s rest. This way, seniors can be in a better state of body and mind to fight the effects of old age.
Content provided by Sally Writes.

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