Getting eight hours of sleep per night gives people of all ages the energy they need to get through the day. However, due to physiological changes, medical conditions, and hormonal shifts, many aging adults find it difficult to sleep at night. Here are five reasons seniors should get plenty of sleep.
When people sleep, the mind is hard at work, consolidating the memories created during the day. This occurs because the sleeping brain strengthens specific neural pathways, encoding new memories in the brain’s memory bank. While good sleep promotes learning and retention, sleep deprivation has an adverse effect on cognitive abilities. If seniors don’t get enough sleep on a long-term basis, it has a notable impact on their memory, focus, and overall ability to coordinate information. For seniors who want to stave off dementia and other cognitive conditions, a good night’s sleep is essential.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia home care. Flower Mound seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Restore the Brain
While the sleeping brain works to create new memories, the body works to restore itself after a long day spent awake. Many crucial physiological processes occur during sleep, including growth hormone release, protein synthesis, and muscle growth. The body also gets rid of the chemical adenosine, a cell byproduct that’s partially responsible for the feeling of being tired. If the body isn’t asleep long enough to remove the adenosine buildup, seniors will be left feeling drowsy and lethargic all day long.
Many seniors live with chronic pain from health conditions like arthritis, injuries, or nerve damage. When seniors don’t get enough sleep, their pain tolerance reduces, exacerbating the chronic condition. While pain can make sleeping more difficult, seniors with chronic pain should talk to the doctor to find a sleeping solution that helps them get the rest they need.
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 24-hour care. Flower Mound seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Enhance Emotional and Mental Health
The processes that occur in the mind and body during sleep, like hormone regulation, are essential to emotional and mental health. When seniors don’t sleep enough at night, they’re more susceptible to conditions like depression and the behaviors that naturally result from tiredness, like crankiness and mood swings.
It’s important for seniors to maintain a healthy weight. When seniors are over or underweight, they’re at greater risk of developing several health conditions, from diabetes to osteoporosis. Getting the right amount of sleep is an important part of weight maintenance. The correlation between weight and sleep is also caused by the hormone leptin, which is responsible for the feeling of fullness after eating a good meal. Leptin is produced during sleep, and sleep-deprived seniors may have perilously low levels. Without leptin, people have a tendency to overeat and experience cravings for high-calorie foods.
If your loved one has chronic insomnia, consider hiring a dedicated caregiver to promote better sleep hygiene. In Flower Mound, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans, call us at 972-468-6010 today.