“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” -Irish Proverb
How much sleep do I need?
It’s no secret that most adults need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep on a consistent basis in order to get enough rest and restoration. However, regularly getting quality sleep is just as important as the quantity of sleep you get each night.
When it comes to flourishing as you age, a good night’s sleep is vital. Sleep is when the body and mind recover from each day’s adventures. We spend so much of our lives sleeping and an important benchmark for overall health, especially for older adults, is quality sleep time.
The National Sleep Foundation says that at least seven to eight hours of sleep should be the goal of people over the age of 65. If you want to stay physically and mentally fit as you age, this is a great standard to follow.
Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep
There are at least five benefits of sleep for senior citizens. First, good sleep can help lower the risks of serious health conditions. High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, to name a few, can be exacerbated by a regular lack of quality sleep. There have been studies that show that deficiency in sleep adds stress to the body, which in turn can lead to a weakened immune system. Sleep restores our bodies, in the form of building muscle and tissue repair, which are vital for a strong immune system.
Second, good sleep helps to boost overall memory and concentration. Most people know that depriving your body of sleep definitely has a negative effect on your short-term memory and ability to focus. However, an extended period of poor sleep will also begin to affect your long-term memory, as well as your ability to make decisions. It can even cause memory loss and cognitive decline, which can result in developing dementia over time.
Next, good sleep can be a great way to boost your mood. Sleep and mental health join forces in many ways. Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, can lower the quality of your sleep, while poor sleep can actually lead to these conditions. Mental well-being requires a good night’s sleep.
The fourth benefit of good sleep is that it can be a key to maintaining a healthy weight and supporting a healthy metabolism. Sleep deprived people will slow their metabolism, which could then lead to weight gain.
Finally, during sleep your brain takes this time to clear your body of detrimental toxins. A recent study, one that is very important for seniors, has shown that one of the toxins removed from the brain while we are sleeping may be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. As a result of these findings, it becomes more important than before for seniors to get good, restful sleep to help stave off these diseases.
If you struggle with getting good sleep, talk to your doctor about ways to maximize your sleep. Your doctor can point you in the right direction to find the help you need in order to consistently get the sleep that your body and mind require.
Want to learn more about senior living at its finest? Give our team of care professionals a call today to chat about your options.