Approximately half of all seniors live with a chronic sleep disorder. Sleep deprivation can have a major impact on a senior’s physical and mental health. Working toward a healthy sleep cycle can quickly enhance a senior’s quality of life and reduce the risk of age-related health conditions.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Albuquerque, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Aging and Poor Sleep

Around the age of 40, a large percentage of adults experience poor sleep at least a few nights every week. By the age of 65, over 50 percent experience daily issues such as nonrestorative sleep, daytime sleepiness, chronic fatigue, lower sleep durations, and nighttime awakenings. An ongoing sleep deficit can be dangerous in the golden years. If chronic sleep deprivation is taking place, seniors and their caregivers must begin addressing the root causes immediately. 

Is There an Ideal Sleep Schedule?

The amount of sleep an individual requires each night is determined by a variety of factors, including age, sex, weight, and physical activity. As a general rule, seniors need at least seven hours of restorative sleep. During those seven hours, they should move through the various stages of the sleep cycle so their bodies and minds can reset. Missing a few hours of sleep each week is typically not a problem, but seniors should seek help if they consistently get less than seven hours of sleep a night. 

Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Seniors who aren’t getting enough sleep generally have a lower quality of life. They might experience cognitive issues such as severe mood swings, grogginess, and difficulty focusing on a subject. A compromised immune system, high blood pressure, weight gain, and blood sugar spikes are common symptoms as well. Seniors who notice any of these physical or mental symptoms should start a sleep journal to track their daily and nightly habits. 

Narrowing Down the Risk Factors

Chronic sleep conditions can be caused by different variables, including medications, physical ailments, and mental disorders. Seniors who take medications should take a look at the side effects to see if they might be causing insomnia or daytime grogginess. Aging adults also experience much higher rates of sleep apnea. 

According to several studies, poor sleep can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. If your loved one has chronic insomnia, consult his or her physician and consider hiring a dedicated caregiver. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Albuquerque, New Mexico, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Coming Up with Long-Term Solutions

Healthy seniors can maintain ideal sleep schedules with lifestyle changes such as drinking less caffeine, avoiding alcohol, getting more exercise, avoiding daytime naps, and sticking to a strict nighttime schedule. If lifestyle changes aren’t making a difference, having an overnight sleep study carried out might be beneficial. Also referred to as polysomnograms, these overnight studies track everything from brain activity to physical restlessness at night.

Talking with a physician, hiring a caregiver, and encouraging your loved one to become more physically active may alleviate chronic sleep conditions. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Albuquerque seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If your aging loved one needs high-quality elderly care, call Home Care Assistance at 505-798-0800 today.  

Published On: July 19th, 2017 / Categories: Senior Health /