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More Sleep Please

With our never-ending list of daily responsibilities, family obligations, and leisure activities, sleep can sometimes fall by the wayside. In some cases, this is not an easy fix, for instance, when lack of sleep is due to pain, a sleep disorder, or insomnia. Whatever the cause, researchers urge us to change habits and seek solutions, as more and long-term studies show that lack of sleep is a detriment to our health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults over the age of 18 require at least seven hours of sleep per night, and those over 60 would benefit from closer to eight hours of sleep. Sleep serves a multitude of functions that renew and restore every cell in the human body.

These tips might seem basic, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, they may hold the key:

  • Have a consistent routine. Try to get to bed around the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on weekends.
  • Don’t take late day naps, and don’t let yourself fall asleep on the couch before bedtime.
  • Get some exercise if you are able. Any type of movement – even a short walk helps. If you can get outside, that’s even better.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a temperature your find comfortable.
    Turn off stimulating devices. If you need noise, find an app or a machine that offers soothing music or nature sounds.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.

Read More:
This Harvard Medical Education article shows how lack of sleep negatively impacts memory and learning.

New research suggests that lack of sleep in middle age can increase the risk of dementia.