Did you know that our sleep patterns change with age? Studies show that older adults often suffer from chronic sleep problems. The worst part is: over 50% of cases go undiagnosed. If you notice your sleeping pattern changing the older you get, it’s more normal than you think.
What affects your sleeping pattern
You may not feel well-rested because of a change in your internal clock. Aging can cause changes in sleep timing and duration. That’s why the older we get, the earlier we wake up.
It can also be due to a change in hormones like a decrease in melatonin. As we age, our body produces less melatonin, which our body secretes at night to help us sleep.
You may also be experiencing insomnia because of a physical or mental health condition. Many individuals experience a change in sleep duration because they aren’t getting enough exercise, are drinking too much alcohol, are smoking, or are obese.
However, if you’re experiencing any of these problems while sleeping:
- Loud snoring
- Dry mouth when you wake up
- Gasping for air when you wake up
- Pauses in breathing while you’re asleep
These could all be symptoms of a more serious issue, sleep apnea. You should schedule to meet with a doctor to discuss your symptoms.
If you’re experiencing a change in your sleeping pattern, there are things you can do to get your internal clock back on track.
If you exercise regularly, you’re more likely to fall asleep quicker and have higher quality sleep. Whether that’s going on a walk after dinner or taking a daily pilates class, these changes in behavior can help you fall asleep quicker and get a full night’s sleep.
The more distractions, the less likely you are to fall asleep. Distractions include your TV, cell phone, lights, or other electronics. If electronics keep you up at night, consider moving your TV to another room.
Doing this can help your body acclimate to knowing the bedroom is only for sleeping. You can also make sure your cell phone or other electronics are turned off or put away by a reasonable time.
Have a Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine is essential to developing better habits over time. This includes activities that help you relax and reset after a long day.
Maybe, you brush your teeth, take a shower, and then read a book 20 minutes before going to bed. Every night, you can look forward to this unwinding ritual and find peace in the blissfulness of the bedtime routine.
Try to Maintain a Normal Sleep Schedule
This isn’t always easy, especially if you’re struggling with getting to bed at a decent hour.
However, the best way to reset your internal clock is by sticking to a sleep schedule that works for you. Try to go to bed at the same time every day and avoid napping in the middle of the day.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
If you feel stressed about something, it’s good to address it by writing down your worries in a journal or talking to someone.
A feeling of worry and stress can get the mind moving too quickly, resulting in sleepless nights and an abnormal sleep schedule. Look for ways to unwind and relax every night, like reading, journaling, or meditating.
How Senior Care Companions Can Help
At Senior Care Companions, our team is here to help you with day-to-day activities to elevate some of the stress and help improve your sleep patterns over time. Whether that’s helping with housekeeping, transportation, or medical monitoring: we’re here for you.
With any of our services, you’ll be able to improve your quality of life and not have to worry about the small things. This way, you can focus on getting your sleeping schedule back on track and achieving that well-rested feeling. It’s not always easy, but you never have to do it alone.