Sleeping As We Age and Lack Of It

IAS News 31 October 2013 | 0 Comments

Sleeping Less

As we age it is found that we are sleeping less. Reports have said that while we are sleeping less, we are also getting less deep sleep. The consequence of getting less deep sleep can be that we wake feeling unrested. The consequences of not getting enough deep sleep can be far reaching, including speeding up the onset of age-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and memory loss. It can also cause hormone levels to be thrown off balance, and minimize your ability to process carbohydrates.

The natural course of aging causes less growth hormone to be produced, this has an effect on the deep sleep that is experienced, which then has another effect on the amount of melatonin is produced. For this reason adjusting bedtimes is important as it will help the adjustment of these hormones not to have such an effect on your day time.

Underlying Problems

Another way to improve your sleeping pattern is to see if there are any underlying problems that are effecting how you sleep – pain, medical illness, sleep environment, some medications, lack of exercise, snoring or restless leg syndrome. Most of these can be changed or resolved in order to improve the amount and quality of sleep.

Napping, Eating and Exercising

Sometimes it is found that napping can help improve visual, motor and spatial skills – as well as even reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. As well as this eating right and getting some form of exercise will also aid your sleep habits. By limiting caffeine and alcohol too late in the day, as well as making sure you are not hungry, avoiding spicy foods, and keeping liquid intake low for about 90 minutes before bed can all improve on the sleep you are getting. Exercise releases hormones that encourage restful sleep, getting at least 20-40 minutes of exercise 4 times a week led to one studies participants getting improved sleeping, as well as less symptoms of depression, more vitality and less drowsiness during the day.

All of the above put to good practice should enable a good and restful night sleep; however should any complications persist then it is always recommended that you consult your physician for their advice.

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