Addressing Insomnia - Tools That Can Help with a Better Night's Sleep

Poor sleep quality in older people can cause health and lifestyle problems and increase the risk of falls, affecting many older people. Addressing sleep issues early can improve overall health.

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Addressing Insomnia - Tools That Can Help with a Better Night's Sleep
3 Min Read April 27th, 2022

Are you getting a good night's sleep every night? Good chance if you are over age 40, the quality of your sleep has deteriorated over the years. Several health problems come with getting older, including sleep difficulties. The Sleep Foundation says that poor sleep can contribute to many health issues and reduce your quality of life, especially for anyone over age 65.

Sleep is vital to good health and quality of life, especially considering we spend one-third of our lives sleeping! There is a lot of science about sleeping, but lack of sleep can disrupt our circadian rhythms, which influence when we feel tired and alert. As we get older, the body secretes less melatonin, which helps promote sleep by coordinating our circadian rhythms.

All of this means is a lack of good sleep leads to aging and health issues resulting in a poorer quality of life worsening in our 'golden years.'

There are ways to improve our sleep, and the right tools can help us get a better night's sleep. However, be sure to see your doctor and get checked for health issues that may adversely impact your sleep. A sleep study might be ordered to rule out sleep apnea which can be treated by a great tool - a CPAP machine. 

CPAP Machine

A CPAP machine (also known as a sleep apnea machine) provides a gentle and constant flow of prescribed pressurized air through a mask and hose to help keep your airway open as you sleep.

Remember, a doctor will need to diagnose you with sleep apnea and prescribe the right amount of pressure to help you. 

There are health problems, in addition to sleep apnea, that can cause sleeping problems. For example, the side effects of medications could be affecting your sleep. Many people age 65 and over take five or more medications. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs can contribute to sleep issues you or a loved one may be experiencing. 

You could try other sleep tools assuming there is not an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed by your doctor.

White Noise Machine

White noise machines are a godsend for people who live in noisy areas. These devices can emit various soothing tones that block out loud noises coming from outside the bedroom. Some white noise machines include the sounds of chirping birds, raindrops, and other calming noises.

Weighted Blanket

Older individuals might develop problems with their blood vessels, making them too cold. If they find themselves shivering in bed at night, a weighted blanket could be just the thing they need. In addition to creating extra warmth, weighted blankets reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality by providing comfort and a sense of protection.

Black-Out Curtains 

Older people often get up in the middle of the night or early in the morning due to sleep disturbances. If the sunrise prompts you to wake up earlier than desired, using black-out curtains is a fantastic solution to this problem. Black-out curtains also help block bright streetlights or a neighbor's eye-catching television.

Massage Chair

If muscle pain and soreness are to blame for sleeping difficulties, a massage chair should be the next item on your shopping list. Massage chairs can help you fight insomnia at home by soothing your tense muscles and lowering your stress levels, allowing your hormones to rebalance and promote sleepiness.

Blue Light Glasses

Too much screen time can also make it harder for you to sleep at night due to the blue light emitted by your screens. Blue light inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel tired. Blue light glasses can help you feel sleepier at bedtime because they block out the light that prevents your body from releasing melatonin.

Don't forget to see your doctor and discuss your sleeping problems before doing anything. However, don't avoid the problem of lack of sleep. It is best to start addressing sleep problems in your 40s or 50s before they become worse as you get older.

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About the Author

Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.

LTC News Contributor Mallory Knee

Mallory Knee

Contributor since September 25th, 2020

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