One of the most neglected and vital aspects of adult life is our sleep cycles and rest patterns. While it is universally recommended by doctors and health experts that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, studies have shown that up to 65% of people are actually getting less than six hours.
This has both short- and long-term negative effects on our overall health and general wellness. It is especially important that seniors get enough sleep as they age because failing to do so can have a more significant impact on their wellbeing that it does on younger adults.
Why is Sleep Important?
The reason that making sure we are getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is because this is the time in which our body repairs itself and replenishes all of the chemicals and hormones we need to function properly on a daily basis.
Why is Sleep Important for Seniors?
Proper rest is even more important as we age, because older adults are prone to much more serious medical issues or accidents as a result of failing to get enough sleep. Some seniors may already be struggling with balance or eyesight problems, lack of coordination and motor function, occasional dizziness, as well as any number of other issues. A lack of sleep will only make matters worse and put them at greater risk for falls or other complications.
Benefits of Sleep as Compared to Diet
When it comes to our ideas about healthy living, most of us assume that our eating habits and physical activity are the most important, but recent studies are proving that sleep may actually be the most important of all. Whereas eating healthy has a significant impact on our body in the sense of providing energy to complete various tasks and can even improve our mood, sleep affects every single function and system in our body.
And since sleep deprivation actually inhibits the body’s production of important hormones which regulate hunger, it becomes much more difficult to maintain a healthy diet as your body will then be confused about how much food it needs and how often.
Benefits of Sleep as Compared to Exercise
The next school of thought we will examine is whether or not exercise is more critical to good overall health than sleep, and again we will find that it is not. While every person should incorporate some physical activity into their daily routine when at all possible, for seniors who opt for exercise oversleep, not only will it reduce or eliminate the positive aspects of their fitness routine, it can actually lead to harm.
Sleep is when the body recovers. This includes the minor tissue, bone, tendon and ligament, and muscle damage that comes with exercise. For seniors who fail to get the proper amount of rest, the fact that they aren’t fully recovering from these minor physical issues can lead to much more serious problems such as torn ligaments, tissue damage, or bone fractures.
A Few Final Words
Whether it is an issue we are facing personally as we are growing older or someone who is caring for an aging parent or family member, we only want what is best for those we love. When trying to decide exactly which activities and daily rituals are most important when it comes to extending our health as we age, keep in mind that out of everything we discussed today, only sleep provides the overall recharging and replenishing needed every day to function and operate at our very best.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.