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How the Elderly Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep

How the Elderly Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep

As people get older, a good night’s sleep becomes much harder to achieve. Sleep among the elderly tends to be much choppier and less deep than their younger counterparts meaning they may wake up several times during the night and it takes less for them to wake up. They also spend much less time in dream sleep than younger people. Just because the elderly tend to get less sleep than younger people, it is still equally important for restorative health benefits. There are several reasons why the elderly get less sleep and several ways for them to the sleep that they need.

Bad sleep habits

One of the most common of sleep problems among older people is that they choose or are often forced to have poor sleeping habits. It is important for all people to maintain a regular sleep pattern and when there is no regular sleep pattern it is much more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Family restraints, work are two of the possible options that may cause the elderly to get off a regular sleeping pattern. The elderly are also more likely to take naps during the day which often throws off a regular sleep pattern. Often alcohol, a depressant, can actually keep you awake when you want to go to bed throwing off your sleeping pattern, especially in the elderly. Retirement is also something that takes some getting used to for elderly individuals. Suddenly, the elderly have a lot of time on their hands which can create some odd sleep patterns.

How the Elderly Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep

There are several solutions to alleviate poor sleep habits. Finding a way to get your work done during the day and communicating with family about your sleeping trouble is a good start to at least set up a more normal sleep pattern. If you are going to take a nap during the day to attempt to recover some lost sleep, try do so well before you attempt to go to bed for the night. Avoiding alcohol before you go to bed is also a wise decision and will help with sleep patterns. Physical activity during the day is also a good, healthy option to burn some unused energy so that your muscles and body will crave the restorative effects of sleep. Even though, the elderly have more time on their hands, it is still important to keep a regular sleep schedule so they have their normal amount of energy.

Medication

The elderly are more likely to take medications than younger people and often these substances will alter sleep patterns. In some cases, medication can create wakefulness at night. Consulting with your doctor when taking medications is wise to see how they will affect your sleep. If a medication alters your sleep pattern it is wise to tell your doctor and you may be able to move to a different medication. Doctors can also presrive medications to help alleviate sleep issues.

Psychological issues

Being an elderly individual also means that you have experienced a lot of in your life both positive and negative. Traumatic events such as death often messes with sleep as an individual will focus so much on these events that their mind cannot go to sleep. Stress from family or work can also cause the loss of sleep. Communication with individuals close to you such as family and friends is a good way to alleviate some of the burden that you are carrying and often works to achieve a better sleep pattern. There are plenty of financial professionals that handle financial problems of the elderly and speaking with them and setting up a plan can also alleviate the stress the elderly.

Disruptions of normal sleeping behavior are common among the elderly due to the changing of their bodies as well as outside influences. Luckily, by keeping a regular sleep schedule and maintain a healthy lifestyle, the elderly can help themselves get the good night’s sleep they need.

5 Things To Keep In Mind And Avoid Back Pain

Back pain strikes everyone at some point in their life and it’s most common at an old age. Stress, a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, and injuries can all lead to back stress or worsen it.  However, if you follow the steps outlined below, you will find that you can help reduce how much back pain you feel throughout your life.

Exercise your back

Your back is more likely to get hurt if it is weak. You can avoid back pain by exercising your back regularly. Part of the muscles that make up your back also make up your inner ab muscles. These muscles wrap around your stomach to the back. Over time, these muscles can get stretched out, causing lower back pain. For elderly people the best way to strengthen these muscles is to practice yoga or tai-chi. This way you can avoid the risk of injuries but efficiently develop muscle strength in the otherwise easily neglected body area.

Walking, swimming and any kind of stretching exercises are also beneficial for managing back pain. Talk with your doctor about what exercises are right for you.

Have good posture

If you constantly sit with an arched back, or stand with your stomach pushed out, this causes your back to weaken and become sore faster. Standing and sitting with good posture will help you avoid back pain it is never late to start it to improve your posture and your spine’s condition. Simply sit up straight with your shoulders pulled back from your chest. Not only will this help reduce back pain, but it will also prevent the stooped look that many elderly people have as they age. When standing, tuck the stomach in and stand with a straight spine.

Keep your weight in check

If you are overweight, it is likely you will have additional back problems. The human body is not meant to carry heavy weight on the frame and it can cause more serious problems for the elderly. The heavier you are, the more stress you place on your back, especially if you carry your weight in your stomach. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy size is one of the best ways to reduce back pain and injuries.

Work smartly

When you pick things up, use your legs and not your back. Make sure you can easily lift whatever you are trying to pick up. Most people should not try to lift something over 50 pounds without help, even if they are young and fit. If you cannot lift something safely on your own, enlist the help of other people or lifting objects, such as a dolly.

If you spend a lot of time home sitting, make sure to take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch out your back. Sitting for long periods places strain on the back that is uncomfortable and can lead to injuries. A footrest can help give your spine a break.

Sleep in the optimal position

Your sleep position and conditions can influence how much back pain you face. Your mattress should be supportive, yet comfortable you can find special mattresses in webshops like the Healthy Back Online Store that have memory foam and other advanced technologies to support your back and spine better. These are not cheap but very beneficial products in the long run. Sleeping on your side or your back is best for the health of your spine and will minimize back pain. Don’t immediately jump out of bed in the morning. Take a few minutes to stretch before you get out of bed to help loosen the joints.

When you employ these tips, you can go a long way towards improving the health of your back and preventing future injuries. Your back is one of the most important parts of your body, and it is important to care for it properly. This way you can avoid many inconveniences in the future and improve your general condition and well-being.