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Sleep and Good Health


A good night's sleep is necessary for everyone- including elders. Sleepless nights are not something you have to put up with as you age. If you don't take steps to remedy your sleep troubles you may get worse.

Researchers, reporting in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, say that aging does not have to be accompained by poor sleep. Occasional sleep problems are common among all ages.

Take heed to the following:

  • You have repeated difficulties falling asleep or sleeping comfortably thorugh the night.
  • You feel irritable and anxious after a poor night's sleep.
  • You consistently find that you do not wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
  • Your sleep troubles affect your mood or your daytime performance.

And then, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

If you leave your insomnia untreated -as an estimated 85% of elderly people do- it could lead to increased anxiety or even depression. Consult with your doctor to see if there may be an underlying medical or psychological problem(s) causing the sleep disturbances. there are a variety of lifestyle and behavioral changes you can make, as well as medications, that can improve the quality of your sleep and enhance your life.

The following are a few teps you can make on your own while you wait for that talk with your doctor:

  • Cut back on caffeine(ex. clear sodas, colas, some painkillers) during the day and don't consume any after 4 PM.
  • Try a different pillow.
  • Keep the temperature in the room at a moderate level.
  • Wind down for the night with some relaxing music, a few relaxing stretches, and a good book. Avoid adventure or scary movies.