But the vast majority of us don’t give much thought to the amount of sleep we receive or how much we require as we get older.
Despite this, getting enough sleep remains an important factor in maintaining our health as we become older. In this post, we will find out the answer to the question, “How much sleep do older folks need?”
Is Ages Affect Sleep Problems?
Depending on the person’s age, sleep problems can be caused by a variety of factors. For example, older adults may have sleep problems due to medical conditions or medications they are taking. Younger adults may have sleep problems due to stress or poor sleep habits.
The Various Stages of a Sleep Cycle
It is essential to have a solid understanding of sleep cycles before attempting to establish a sleeping routine for a loved one. When we go to sleep, our bodies go through a series of steps that correspond to each of the different sleep cycles.
The mind and the body are both put into a state of relaxation in the first sleep stage. Because people in the first or second stage of sleep are more readily aroused, adjusting the mattress or pillow.
Clearing the space of clutter, and reducing the amount of noise and disruptions in the environment are all things that can facilitate easy and comfortable adults’ sleep in these stages.
When an individual has been asleep for thirty to forty-five minutes, their body may start to transition into the third and fourth stages of sleep.
People who wake up during the third or fourth stage of sleep will be very sluggish and weary, and they may have trouble settling back into a peaceful slumber after their awakening.
Caffeine and alcohol consumption should be limited in the hours leading up to bedtime for seniors since this will reduce the likelihood that they may wake up during this sleep period.
In addition, physical activity should be concluded earlier in the day so that the body is exhausted when it is time to go to bed. The rapid eye movement (REM) stage is the fifth stage of sleep. At this moment, the organism has almost completely lost consciousness.
The body makes repairs to itself, revitalizes tired muscles, and gets ready for the day ahead during the rapid eye movement (REM sleep) stage of sleep. The need to use the restroom is one of the most common reasons that older citizens wake up during this stage of the sleep apnea cycle.
Sleep quality can be negatively impacted by cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Those elderly who are coping with dementia may face a few difficulties when they want to age in place.
However, with the assistance of dementia care provided by trained professionals, people are still capable of living independently at home. For the purpose of assisting your loved one in leading a life that is both happier and healthier, our carers are available around the clock.
Older Adults And Sleep: How Much Sleep Do They Need?
Older adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. However, many older adults find it difficult to get the recommended amount of sleep apnea. There are a number of reasons why this may be the case, including:
- Medical conditions that can cause pain or disrupt sleep
- Changes in sleep patterns as we age
- Medications that can interfere with sleep
- Poor sleep habits
Seniors (those aged 65 and up) are encouraged by the CDC to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep nightly. The quantity and quality of sleep required, however, might vary greatly from one person to the next.
Depending on the quality of their sleep and their individual health requirements, some seniors may require more than 8 hours of sleep apnea per night. Some retirees report feeling completely revitalized after only 6 hours of sleep, while others require more.
Adults 65 and up, according to the panel, still require between 7-8 hours to fall asleep every night, ideally spread out over a continuous period of time, even though their sleep needs shift as they age. (Source: Centers For Disease Control And Prevention)
What Are The Effects Of Poor Sleep In Older Adults?
A Decline In Physical Health
Your body needs sleep to stay healthy! When you don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to a decline in physical health. This means that your body isn’t able to function as well as it should. So make sure to get plenty of rest!
This is especially true for older adults, who are more likely to have chronic health problems.
A Decline In Mental Health
Poor sleep can lead to a decline in mental health. This is because when we sleep, our brains are able to rest and repair themselves. If we don’t get enough sleep, our brains can’t repair themselves properly, which can lead to problems with our mental health.
For example, poor sleep can lead to a decrease in productivity, an increase in accidents, and a higher risk of developing mental health disorders.
Increased Risk Of Accidents
It can be difficult to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, but there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep habits.
Establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can help you get the rest you need.
Increased Risk Of Falls And Fractures
There are many dangers that come with poor sleep in older people, one of which is an increased risk of falls and fractures. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies become more fatigued and less able to coordinate our movements.
This can lead to our trip and fall more easily. Additionally, sleep disorders can also lead to bone loss and a decrease in bone density, making us more susceptible to fractures. If you’re not getting enough quality sleep, be sure to talk to your doctor about ways to improve your sleep habits.
Chronic diseases are illnesses that last a long time and usually can’t be cured. Poor sleep can increase your risk of getting chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
That’s why it’s important to get enough sleep every night. It can also lead to weight gain, as well as memory and concentration problems.
Some Tips For Improving Sleep In Older Adults
There are a number of things that older adults can do to improve their sleep. Here are seven tips:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Keep a cool, comfortable bedroom environment.
- Limit exposure to light in the evening.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Exercise regularly.
- See your doctor if you have sleep problems.
I can’t stress enough how crucial sleep is to your health. Some health problems, such as hypertension, obesity, heart disease, and depression, have been linked to getting too much or too little sleep.
Get in touch with your doctor if you’re worried about sleeping more than 8 hours per night to fall asleep or not getting enough sleep.