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Discussing the Dangers of Sleep Deprivation for Seniors

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Like most adults over the age of 18, seniors need at least seven to eight hours of sleep to maintain a healthy schedule. Adequate sleep is important because it allows the body to engage in various functions that are not addressed during waking hours. When sleep deprivation occurs, these functions are interrupted and lead to various mental and physical problems. Nashville caregivers want families to understand these dangers and help seniors adopt better sleeping habits to promote health and wellness.

Why Seniors Need Adequate Sleep

As we sleep, fluids flow through the body faster in a type of cleansing ritual that effectively flushes toxins from our systems. Growth hormones and other chemicals are released and aid in the reparation process that takes place throughout the body. An insufficient amount of sleep interferes with these tasks and can lead to the onset of obesity, diabetes and exacerbated cardiovascular problems.

Additional Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Thought processes and diminished physical ability are some of the effects observed when the elderly do not get enough sleep. Some of the common outward signs of sleep deprivation include:

• Mental fogging and confusion
• Decreased alertness
• Increased risk of accidents or falls
• Irritability
• Depression
• Memory loss

Sleep Remedies

Worries over health or personal problems, certain medications, and physical inactivity can all lead to intermittent waking or a lack of desire for a full night’s rest. Talking with a physician, hiring Home Care Assistance in Nashville, or encouraging a senior to become more physically active may alleviate these problems. Weakened bladders that necessitate night time emptying may be helped by limiting or eliminating fluids after the evening meal. Other remedies might include:

• A warm, relaxing bath or shower
• Comfortable bedding
• A darkened, quiet, cool bedroom
• Daytime sun exposure to adjust circadian rhythm
• Avoiding caffeinated beverages and foods after the noon meal
• Evaluation for sleep apnea

Seniors who experience sleep deprivation may also benefit from Nashville live-in home care from Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained caregivers are available 24/7 and can help regulate senior sleep cycles, maintain daily routines, and encourage senior health and wellness. Call us today at 615.656.4999 to learn more about home care for your senior loved one. We look forward to hearing from you.