Everybody needs sleep to be the best, healthiest version of themself. However, studies have consistently shown that older adults need a healthy sleeping pattern even more than others. At the same time, the National Sleep Foundation estimates that 80% of adults aged 65-84 report having sleep difficulties.

This presents a distressing picture of sleep health in older adults. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting the sleep you need. Keep reading to learn more about why older adults need healthy sleeping patterns and what you can do to make that happen.

The Dangers of Poor Sleep Habits

Studies have shown that sleep plays an important role in maintaining brain health. We also know that the risk of age-related cognitive decline is lower in older adults who get more sleep. Essentially, this means that getting more sleep could reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Healthy sleep habits are also tied to better emotional health and overall well-being. When you get less sleep, you’re more likely to suffer from disorders like depression and anxiety. Older adults should enjoy their golden years, not struggle through them. According to this research, getting more sleep could make that happen for you.

The Benefits of Healthy Sleep

While not getting enough sleep can increase your risks of experiencing negative health events, consistently getting the right amount of sleep can do the opposite. Get more sleep, and you could enjoy health benefits like:

  • Reduced risk of falling
  • Increased happiness
  • Enhanced memory and attention span
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Reduced medication usage
  • And more

How to Create Healthy Sleeping Habits

The information above makes it clear how important getting enough sleep is for older adults. However, you may still be unsure about how to achieve this. Doing so may be simpler than you think. Here are steps you can take now to start working towards a better sleeping routine:

  • Create a soothing bedtime routine, such as reading, bathing, or meditating before sleep
  • Increase your activity levels during the day
  • Keep your bedroom, quiet, dark, and cool to make it easier to fall and stay asleep
  • Limit your intake of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and other stimulants
  • Optimize your melatonin levels by spending more time in the sun
Rely on the Help of Medical Professionals

Getting the right amount of sleep each night is incredibly important for older adults. However, you may have trouble with your sleeping patterns even after trying some of the recommendations listed above.

In this scenario, it’s important to seek out the advice of a medical professional. They can provide you with more detailed information about sleeping and offer personalized recommendations that may fix your issues with it.

Older adults may even be able to use their Medicare health insurance to consult with a physician about their sleeping habits. For example, you could use your free annual wellness visit for this.

If you’re unsure about how to get your costs covered by Medicare, consider reaching out to a partnered licensed agent at Time for 65. You can reach one today by filling out this form or giving us a call.