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Sleep Strategies for Healthy Aging: Improving Sleep in the New Year

Sleep Strategies for Healthy Aging: Improving Sleep in the New Year

As we age, our sleep patterns naturally begin to change. We may experience difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling rested. These changes can be frustrating, but they're often a normal part of the aging process. Our minds may especially be focused on this while thinking of ways to improve our health in the new year. Below, you will find some ideas to improve our sleep and support healthy aging. 

Why is sleep important for older adults? 

Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being at any age, but it's especially important for older adults. Sleep helps to: 

  • Improve cognitive function: When we sleep, our brains consolidate memories and process information. Adequate sleep can help improve memory, learning, and focus. 

  • Boost the immune system: Sleep helps to strengthen the body's immune system, making it better able to fight off infection and disease. 

  • Maintain physical health: Sleep helps to regulate hormones that control appetite, metabolism, and blood pressure. Adequate sleep can help to prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. 

  • Reduce depression and anxiety: Sleep problems are often linked to depression and anxiety. Improving sleep can help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of these mental health conditions. 

Sleep challenges for older adults: 

There are a number of factors that can contribute to sleep problems in older adults. These include: 

  • Medical conditions: Sleep apnea, chronic pain, arthritis, and other medical conditions can make it difficult to sleep comfortably. 
  • Medications: Some medications can have side effects that disrupt sleep. 
  • Changes in sleep patterns: As we age, our bodies produce less melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. This can lead to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. 
  • Changes in lifestyle: Retirement, loss of a spouse or loved one, and other changes in lifestyle can disrupt sleep patterns. 

Sleep strategies for healthy aging: 

Here are some tips for improving sleep in older adults: 

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. 
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine: This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music. 
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool: This will create an environment that is conducive to sleep. 
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed: These substances can interfere with sleep. 
  • Get regular exercise: But avoid strenuous exercise too close to bedtime. 
  • See a doctor if you have sleep problems: There may be an underlying medical condition, such as sleep apnea, that needs to be treated with a device like a CPAP.  

Supporting healthy sleep for older adults: 

At CarePro Home Medical and Kelly’s Home Medical, we understand the importance of sleep for healthy aging. If you find yourself having sleep apnea or needing CPAP supplies, our compassionate and experienced caregivers can provide support with: 

  • Finding the correct CPAP machine for your needs  

  • Finding the correct fitting CPAP mask  

  • Tips on keeping your CPAP or PAP device clean  

  • Providing tips and tricks that have worked for other patients 

By working with the sleep experts at CarePro or Kelly’s, you can improve your sleep and enjoy a better quality of life as you age not only for 2024, but for years to come.  

Contact CarePro Home Medical or Kelly’s Home Medical today to learn more about how we can help you achieve a good night's sleep!