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Normal sleep linked to successful aging
Date:6/11/2008

er earlier in the evening and awaken earlier in the morning.

Not sleeping well can lead to a number of problems. Older adults who have poor nighttime sleep are more likely to have a depressed mood, attention and memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, more nighttime falls and use more over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids. In addition, recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

While most people require seven to eight hours of sleep a night to perform optimally the next day, older adults might find it harder to obtain the sleep they need. Older adults must be more aware of their sleep and maintain good sleep hygiene by following these tips:

  • Establishing a routine sleep schedule.

  • Avoiding utilizing bed for activities other than sleep or intimacy.

  • Avoiding substances that disturb your sleep, like alcohol or caffeine.

  • Not napping during the day. If you must snooze, limit the time to less than one hour and no later than 3 p.m.

  • Stick to rituals that help you relax each night before bed. This can include such things as a warm bath, a light snack or a few minutes of reading.

  • Dont take your worries to bed. Bedtime is a time to relax, not to hash out the stresses of the day.

  • If you cant fall asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity. Return to bed only when you are tired.

  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and a little cool.

Although sleep patterns change as people age, disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging. Those who have trouble sleeping are advised to see a sleep specialist at a facility accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).


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Contact: Kathleen McCann
kmccann@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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