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The Importance of a Good Night's Sleep

Tue Oct 15th, 2019

The Importance of a Good Night

Do you sleep like a baby or are you up and down all night? According to NIH National Institute on Aging, insomnia is the most common sleep problem in adults over 60.

Have you ever heard this myth? The older you get, the less sleep is needed. Older adults still need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. As we age, getting the proper amount of sleep each night can be affected by a number of things. Biological changes occur such as a shift in circadian rhythm. This can cause you to feel sleepy too early in the evening, in turn, waking up too early in the morning.

Often, older adults have health issues that can interfere with a good night's sleep. For example, respiratory problems, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and gastrointestinal conditions can cause you to lose sleep or wake up feeling tired.

If you're having trouble sleeping through the night and waking up feeling unrefreshed, talk to your doctor. Here are some things you can do to try and have a restful night's sleep:

  • Cut back on caffeine
  • Have a bedtime routine (take a hot bath, essential oils and unwind)
  • Turn off electronics and TV 2 hours before bed (read or meditate instead)
  • Exercise or take a walk during the day
  • Don't lie in bed for hours wide awake. If you don't fall asleep or feel sleepy within 20 minutes, get out of bed and go read or meditate, when you start to feel sleepy go back to bed
  • Put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow to help relax

Getting quality sleep is important for many reasons because it can help:

  • You to focus better which improves concentration and productivity
  • Decrease your risk for heart disease or stroke
  • Regulate hormones
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Keep your immune system strong
  • Decrease stress

Sleep is an important part of life and quality sleep can make you feel great. On the flip side poor quality sleep and insomnia can make you feel unmotivated, exhausted and cranky. Talk to your doctor if you find that you have a chronic sleep issue so they can get to the bottom of the problem and offer solutions.

Source: NIH, Natrol, National Sleep Foundation, Healthline