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Elderly More Likely to Battle Sleep Disorders
Date:4/27/2008

lts who don't get enough sleep are more likely to feel depressed, have attention and memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, more nighttime falls, and to use more over-the-counter or prescription sleep medications.

In order to get a better night's sleep, older adults should:

  • Establish a routine sleep schedule.
  • Avoid using the bed for activities other than sleep or intimacy.
  • Avoid substances that disturb sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol.
  • Avoid napping during the day. If you have to nap, limit it to less than one hour and do it no later than 3 p.m.
  • Develop pre-sleep rituals that help you relax, such as a warm bath, a light snack or a few minutes of reading.
  • Leave worries behind. Bedtime is a time to relax, not replay the stresses of the day.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and a little cool.
  • If you can't fall asleep, leave the bedroom and do a quiet activity. Go back to bed only when you're tired.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about sleep and aging.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, April 2008


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