No matter your age, a good night’s sleep is essential to keep you feeling healthy and your mind active.
But there’s a perception that as we age we require less sleep. And as a result, many elderly people aren’t getting the sleep they need.
In fact, studies have shown that, while the amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, the sleep requirements for an individual remain constant over their adult life. So if you’re no longer sleeping as well as you used to, it’s essential that you look at the causes.
Benefits of sleep for seniors
There are numerous health benefits to a good night’s sleep including reduced blood pressure, a lowered risk of heart disease, and a lowered risk of illness. In fact, a 2009 study found that getting fewer than seven hours of sleep at night tripled the risk of catching a cold, compared to those people who slept for eight hours or more.
Sleep is also vital for keeping our memory active. A study published in the Sleep journal found people who slept fewer than six hours a night for two weeks scored far lower on memory tests than those who had eight hours sleep.
A good night’s sleep also helps us to feel more alert when we’re awake. Plus you’ll feel less stressed and far happier, which means you’ll get to enjoy more of the things that make retirement and those later years enjoyable.
What causes poor sleep in seniors?
There are many reasons why the quality of your sleep can decline over the years. For one, an increase in afternoon naps can lead to more difficulty falling asleep at night. A lack of routine can also mean staying up later or sleeping in longer, leading to poor sleep quality.
Sleep quality can also be affected by illness, medication, or even snoring (you or your partner). And of course, diet is a factor, including too much caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime.
Another common factor in poor sleep quality can come down to what you’re sleeping on. It’s recommended that a mattress is replaced every 8-10 years for optimum performance. Unfortunately, studies reveal that many of us are sleeping on a mattress that is far older than that.
How to get a better night’s sleep
While everyone’s sleep challenges are unique, there are a few things you can consider to get more quality shut-eye.
Keeping your mind and body active during the day will help you get to sleep easier at night. Incorporate regular walks into your regime, spend time with friends, and look for fun ways to challenge your memory.
Review your medications
Chat with your doctor about the timing and makeup of your medications if you think they could be a cause of your sleep issues.
Upgrade your mattress
A quality mattress doesn’t have to be a big investment, but it can have a significant impact on your sleep. The BedGuard Guardian Comfort mattress is Australian-made and offers the benefits of a waterproof bond, quality Bonnell springs, and a medium-firm feel for a soft yet supported sleep.
Browse the range of BedGuard waterproof mattresses and discover the difference a mattress can make.