Sleep disorders and other types of sleep deprivation may pose a serious health concern for people of all ages. However, as people age, their bodies experience natural changes, many of which can have an affect on their sleep cycle. A decrease in hormones can also have an effect on sleeping patterns. One fact for certain is, sleep is essential for maintaining your overall general health, especially for the elderly. A good nights sleep is beneficial for clearer concentration, better memory and it helps strengthen the immune system. Unfortunately, many seniors in Apple Valley commonly suffer from sleep issues.
Risks of Sleep Deprivation
Many of the elderly in Hospice assume the only consequence of sleep deprivation is feeling drowsy the following day. However, the consequences of being consistently sleep deprived are much more serious. Seniors in Apple Valley suffering from sleep deprivation may experience:
- High levels of stress
- Memory loss
- Mood disorders
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Sleep deprivation can be detrimental for the general health of those in Hospice. Fortunately, there are several options that may help you improve your sleeping habits, including:
- Keeping a schedule. Keeping a regular schedule provides a range of benefits for your body. Try to maintain a similar routine each night before bedtime. For example, do oral care at the same time each night and go to bed at the same time each night.
- Keeping a routine will alert your body to begin producing the hormones that prepare your mind and body for sleep.
- Simple sleeping environment. Your sleeping environment should be as a calming as possible. A dark room with comfortable temperatures is the best for sleeping. Avoid sleeping with the television on or set the television timer to automatically turn off 30 minutes after bedtime to reduce the risk of being woken up by the sound.
- Avoid stimulants. It is best to avoid all stimulants for at least one hour before bedtime. Stimulants include alcohol, caffeine and tobacco products. Stimulants can disrupt your sleep cycle, which can cause sleep disorders.
- Maintain general health. One of the most important things you can do to reduce sleep disorders is to maintain your general health. Exercise and an appropriate diet can help to greatly improve your sleep cycle.
One of the most common things to disrupt sleeping cycles is medications. Certain medications may cause you to sleep more during the day or may prevent you from sleeping through the night. It is important to discuss your medications with your doctor on a regular basis to make sure there are no new medications that may be causing a disruption in your sleeping pattern. An easy way to improve your chances of getting the sleep you desperately need is to have exposure to sunlight for at least two hours a day. The sunlight promotes the hormone melatonin, which helps with sleep cycle regulation.