You’ve likely heard the myth that older adults need LESS sleep as they get older – but while your ability to fall asleep may increase, your sleep needs DO NOT decrease at all. If you aren’t convinced that sleep is the answer, consider the findings that “…chronic inadequate sleep puts people at higher risk for dementia, depression, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, fall-related injuries and cancer.”
While falling asleep and maintaining a restful state for 7-8 hours is easier said than done – try implementing these sleep strategies and see if you notice a difference in sleep duration & quality (tips courtesy of AARP’s article “You Need 7-8 Hours of Sleep for Better Brain Health”:
| Avoid long naps: Limit napping to 30 minutes in the early afternoon. Longer naps late in the day can disrupt nighttime sleep.
| Stick to a schedule: Get up at the same time every day, seven days a week.
| Go toward the light: Expose yourself to sunlight during the day, which helps set your body clock.
| Get moving: Regular physical activity promotes good sleep; it can also help you lose weight, which also can improve sleep.
| Restrict what you eat and drink: Avoid caffeine after lunch and don’t eat or drink for three hours before bed to keep from waking up to use the bathroom.
| Banish electronics: Keep the bedroom for sleeping, not watching TV or reading or playing games on your smartphone or tablet.
| Try a warm bath, warm socks: A regular bath may be beneficial two to three hours before bedtime. Wearing socks to keep feet warm can also help you fall asleep more easily.
In the hopes that happiness and health are part of your resolutions this year – consider the role of a good night’s sleep at any age! Be sure to speak with your doctor to ensure you aren’t overlooking the warning signs of any sleep disorder, or accounting for your sleep patterns in relation to your overall quality of life.
Better sleep supports better brain health and cognitive function – which is especially important for BIG decisions related to home, health and finances. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance as you live life to the fullest and age with enthusiasm!
All my best,
Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/