Apr 152012
 
SleepingSenior

Sleep is essential for proper functioning of every individual, regardless of age. However, eight hours of uninterrupted and undisturbed sleep is exceptionally more important in elderly due to following reasons.

  • Sleep is believed to be reduced as a normal process and component of aging. This is true for normal elderly too, who don’t have any organic disease process. Both quality and duration of sleep is altered and marked reduced with advancing age. In normal elderly, following changes are seen in the normal pattern of sleep:
  1. Increase time to fall asleep after lying in bed.
  2. Frequent awakening accompanied by increase time taken to fall asleep again as opposed to a normal young adult who requires minutes to fall asleep again.

 

  • Loss of NREM pattern of sleep, Non Rapid Eye Movement is an important component of normal sleep rhythm. Actual relaxation attributed to sleeping is achieved in NREM sleep as it is only during this phase that the brain shut down its processes completely (obviously all processes other than those that are required for life like breathing). Loss of NREM leads to subjective feeling of giddiness and incomplete relaxation, one of the most important complaint elderly have with their sleep.

 

  • Early awakening in the morning which cannot be attributed to any cause. Overall sleep duration, quality and depth is reduced naturally in elderly.

 

Causes of disturbed sleep in elderly:

Sleeping Tips for Adults - how to go to sleep

A number of causes both organic and inorganic can be attributed to this disturbance in natural rhythm and pattern of sleeping over time. Few of these are listed below:

  • Loss of physical activity: physical activity and feeling of tiredness is an important reason why people feel sleepy towards the end of the day; however, in case of elderly who are mostly retired, don’t have much of the physical activity and so are obviously not tired and sleepy at nights.
  • Loss of tone in respiratory muscles leading to collapse: With advancing age, all muscles get relaxed and laxed, same is seen in respiratory muscles that loses their tone. In day hours, when people are wide awake and in sitting or standing posture, voluntary brain efforts and body postures don’t let the relaxed muscle to make any noticeable difference in breathing pattern, but at night, when person is sleeping, weight of gastric contents further push upon lungs and further decreases the tone of respiratory muscles. This is another important cause of sleep disturbance, called as sleep apnea.
  • Number of diseases and health issues: With advancing age, person becomes more vulnerable to a number of organic and inorganic ailments. All health issues affect sleep at first.

 

Why sleep is important in elderly?

Sleep affects day to day functioning in a normal adult but in elderly, effects of disturbed sleep remain hidden until consequences of sleep disturbance begin to appear. A number of health issues associated with impaired sleep are discussed as under:

a.       Hypertension:

All scientific studies conducted on elderly and on mechanics of hypertension have shown clear association of sleep disturbances to development of hypertension. Let alone, disturbed sleeps itself a very stressing event that irritates people and impair their ability to fight different stressors. Sleep deprivation or chronic insomnia

b.      Alzheimer’s Disease:

Alzheimer’s disease is also associated with chronic sleep disturbance. This is especially true if sleep apnea is the cause of disturbed sleep. During sleep apnea, low oxygen delivery to brain tissue leads to early development of Alzheimer’s disease.

c.       Dementia:

In young healthy adult, chronic sleep deprivation affects cognitive thinking and problem solving capabilities. However, in young adults, sleep deprivation is normally short term and symptoms resolves by its own without leaving any permanent sequelae. However, in elderly symptoms remain hidden until permanent changes are seen in brain functioning. Sound sleep is required to function properly especially cognition and intellect is greatly affected by poor sleep.

d.      Diabetes:

Diabetes type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with sleep deprivation. In type 2 diabetes mellitus peripheral resistance to the action of insulin is conferred, that is believed to be associated with chronic insomnia. Moreover, it has both cause and effect relationship, sleep disturbances leads to diabetes mellitus and once full blown diabetes is established, any further sleep disturbance will further aggravates blood sugar levels and functioning of insulin.

 

Sleeping Tips for Adults:

Issues pertinent to sleep in elderly are broadly classified as:

  1. Issues in falling asleep
  2. Issues in maintain sleep

Tips to induce sleep

Sleeping Tips for Adults - how to go to sleepBelow tips will help to induce sleep. In simple words, using these tips will reduce the time required to fall asleep.

  • Exercise: Exercise evokes the subjective feeling of tiredness and helps in initiating sleep.
  • Use of aromatherapy: This helps in forgetting stress and reduces the incidence of developing depression in elderly by providing a calming and soothing effect.
  • Comfortable bedding: This is especially true for elderly who have joint problems or other neuromuscular issues.
  • Use of eye covers: Most elderly use eye masks and covers, this not only helps to prevent entry of light in the eye, but also help melatonin to be produced in significant amounts.

 

Tips to maintain sleep:

Following tips will help in maintaining sleep to ensure uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep.

  • Avoidance of alcohol and caffeinated beverages before bed time
  • Avoidance of drinking plenty of water before going to bed.
  • Sleeping in an environment which has no disturbance like noise or light.
  • Maintenance of room temperature before sleeping.

 

 

Dec 212011
 
How to go to Sleep | How to Fall Asleep on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is one of the most exciting night of the year, but also one of the most difficult nights to sleep. Between getting the children calmed down even enough to think about going to bed, making your guests comfortable, and preparing everything for the occasion, it can also be the most stressful night of the year. With a little planning, you can make sure the whole household is ready to go to sleep in a timely manner and have the best Christmas ever. Continue reading »

Dec 072011
 
How to go to sleep when you are too excited about tomorrow


If you have a very happy event coming on next day then it is very likely that you will stay awake just thinking and jumping about it. Similar to other emotions, anxiety too contributes in depriving the person from getting normal sleep. Other emotions that commonly wake the people up are worry, stress, tensions and anxiety. If you are having a happy event coming up which you were waiting for whole your life then it is very likely that you won’t get any sleep throughout the night. This also posts negative effect over the event because you might not enjoy it to fullest owing to the sleep deprivation. Thus, if you want to enjoy the event and take a good sleep follow these tips closely. These will basically work over your mind to invite sound sleep at night. Continue reading »

Dec 072011
 
How to Get Back to Sleep


Waking up in the middle of the night and then being able to go back to sleep is a problem for many. This problem can be faced on regular bases by some individuals while some others it can be due to chance. Either way, its hectic, disturbs the routine and makes one restless and tired on the next day.  There can be certain reasons due to this happens, maybe you slept way before your bedtime or perhaps you missed your dinner and you just got very hungry.  There is also a chance that you had a bad dream or are just emotionally stressed. And for many, it can be plain insomnia. Whatsoever the reason may be, there still is a cure for this and if you follow the guidelines laid down you will be able to get back to sleep before you know it. Continue reading »

Dec 072011
 
sleep puppy

If you have a pet, be assured that pet training is one of the most essential things that need to be done and that too at the earliest possible time. There are many things involved in this ranging from telling your pet to be playful with you and nice with others, defining times for food – mostly entwined with your own timings- teaching your pet to poop only in the predefined area and nowhere else, and finally guiding your pet to respect your timings- which includes not waking you up early or having a time managed routine for themselves. Continue reading »

Nov 282011
 

Sleep is very much necessary to make a person fit overall; many people nowadays do not realize the importance of sleeping other than taking it as another form of rest. Only after a good night’s sleep can you reach the maximum potential of your intellect. Also the complaints of feeling sleepy, tired and drowsy in either school or during work are due to inadequate amount of sleep taken by an individual each night. A good night’s sleep gives you stability in your emotions and keeps you recharged longer for the next day, this gives forth better results in whatsoever activity the individual has involved himself in. You need to start with waking up each morning at the same time, set this time in accordance to your routine and your school time. You must not change the time even for weekends or holidays, also make sure that you do not give yourself any relaxation in following the time. If you keep doing this over a period of time, eventually your body will get used to wake up at that specific time without the need of alarm clocks or help from family members. This will enable your body to go to sleep as soon as it gets tired naturally, at the beginning of this exercise, things may get very hard but eventually your body itself will cope with the problem and handle it easily. When your daily habits become monotonous, for example being in school and attending classes, soon enough your body will get used to this routine and would be able to do tasks without being sleepy in class or feeling tired. Since it takes some time for your body to adopt the new ways, make sure you give it that time and do not get frustrated too soon and bail out. Give yourself at least minimum of ten days to get used to new routine. Make sure that within this time period, you do not under any case break the rules or give yourself relaxation. Naps are taken to recharge you and to make up for the lost sleep due to any reason. Do not sleep late, wake up early but take a daytime nap after doing some of your morning work. Try not taking a nap afternoon since it will then not allow you to get in bed earlier. Also, limit your naps to a maximum of 30 minutes. Many people complain regarding the drowsiness right after dinner, due to which they usually end up waking in the middle of the night, the key to solve this problem is to fight it efficiently. Do some exercise or go for a walk or make indulge in some creative work. Do not, especially at night time, relax yourself with television or video games, they stimulate your mind in such a way that you won’t be able to sleep. An effective alternative can be listening to songs or maybe listen to an audio book. If you follow the above guidelines, be sure to feel fresh in school and be able to get better grades!

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Nov 132011
 

The quote “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” is true for various reasons. Lacking a goodnights sleep due to sleeping late can raise many problems in your body and in your emotional balance. Many people after a lack of sleep to get cranky and short tempered, they are also known for a lack of balance in their life and in their decisions. Problems to the body can not only be physically such as dull skin and dark circles but also internal bodily functions are disturbs as the biological clock alters. It tries adapting your lifestyle but since it fails, the health consequently starts deteriorating hence it is very much important to align biological clock with the natures clock and help your body stay young and healthy.

It is easy to say and most definitely difficult to follow, there are many ways to motivate you to start sleeping early. If you stay up so you can watch your favorite show which airs at late night, you can always put it on recording for you to see the next day in the morning, this way not only will you have an alternative but also will be motivated to sleep early so you can watch the show early next morning. Avoid televisions, cell phones and bright lights near your bedtime so to send fewer stimuli to your brain and hence making it prepare itself for sleeping earlier. Also make a set routine of waking up early each morning this way your body will naturally get tired after a long and will retire itself way before you imagine it to on normal days. Try drinking milk especially at night time since it contains an amino acid known to raise the levels of melatonin in your body. What melatonin does is that it slows the brain activity hence making you drowsy and makes you prepare your body to sleep. Cut down caffeine intake especially near your bedtime. Heavy meals right before sleep are not good either since your body’s metabolic reactions will be very fast, it might make you drowsy since the blood will be rushing to your stomach but it will be unhealthy for you and also you will get up soon after you slept. Motivate yourself by doing exercises, the more you work out the more energy you will spend. This way by the end of the day, you will feel tired yourself and would want to go to sleep and so getting in bed won’t be too tough an activity to do.  Read a book with low light, though not low enough to affect your vision. Try avoiding thought of stress and other problems or even creative ideas. You can jolt them down in a notebook and wait till the next day to think about them and brainstorm then. You can also order from your favorite restaurant if you are a food lover and wait or the morning to eat.For each person, the motivation comes in a different way, and hence you need to ponder individually in order to get your motivation according to what your hobbies wants and needs are.

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Nov 092011
 

Every once in a while you will feel tired and bored of your same routine. Sometimes it will be because you’re an early sleeper and sometimes because you don’t get to sleep at all. At such events, it becomes necessary to change your sleep routine. Given below are a few tips that will help you generate quick results.

First of all, don’t expect that your routine will change just in a single day. Stay patient and wait for the change. Put a 15 minute margin for each day. If you are persistent about your change, you will hopefully get desired results in 3 to 4 days.

Once this is done, don’t forget that if you need to sleep 15 minutes early then your routine bed time, everything of your daily routine needs to be planned 15 minutes earlier as well. This means that you eat early, and work out early as well. Sometimes when such a change is being taken, there might be unexpected wake up calls, right in the middle of the night. Don’t panic, its normal, your body is trying to adjust and see what each time accounts for. Go to the washroom and come back – this is done so that a little movement is encountered. Shift position from the way you were lying down before and try to sleep again.

Again, make sure all your activities are lined up way before the bed time. The more actively you participate in activities right before bed time, the more active your brain will be and the harder it will become to shift to night mode instantly. Tire out yourself a little before going to bed. Make sure no caffeine and / or sugary items are consumed before bed time as it will only keep you up.

Furthermore, try to give your body and mind a conducive environment to sleep. There must be no interference. And zero tolerance for this rule. Make sure that the light is dim and that there is no or very little sound and distractions.

Another factor is to try and move up your workspace to a different location from your bed or the place where you sleep. This helps two ways. One, your bed becomes less cluttered giving you more room and comfort. Two, your brain will recognize your bed as your sleeping spot, a spot where you will only go to relax and sleep. So whenever you will go to your bed, your brain will automatically shift to a low gear and try to get sleep as it knows it has entered a rest place.

If nothing else works, and you immediately need to sleep, you might want to try out a sleeping pill. But be sure to use those ONLY on the advice of a doctor. An overdose can become life threatening as well. And it is never a wise idea to get addicted to such pills. So keep it natural as much as you can.

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Nov 082011
 

If you are sensitive to slightest of noise then it is possible that you remain sleep deprived for several days in the wake of surrounding noises. Benefits of having a good night’s sleep are quite well known and it is established that a good sleep helps in developing healthy body and mind. There are many events that could disturb your sleep and most probably you won’t get it afterwards. It could be loud noise of television set, bad weather, loud music or gregarious snoring. Even if you feel it is impossible to sleep with so many noises, there are some ways by which you could achieve it.

  • The first obvious option to shut down the outside sound is to close the windows. If your window is not properly caulked then it may fail to seal the outside noise hence in this case, seal the window gaps with paper cutouts. If the climate is hot and unbearable then just switch on your air conditioning system. This will also help in eliminating the outside noise as most of the air conditioning units create some or other kind of noise which would distract your attention from the outside noise.

 

  • Hot water is best for getting good night’s sleep and if you are not in favor of bathing at night then just wash your legs and palms with hot water, you are surely going to get sound sleep. Even drinking warm milk at bedtime helps to obtain good sleep despite of outside music.

 

  • Another way of getting sleep in heavy sound is to block the sound with other sound. This works best and if you have iPod or music player just put the soft music over the system and try to ignore the outside voice. It works effectively if you put the music over headphones while keeping the volume on lower side to help the brain relaxation.

 

  • Lie down on the bed and by imagining each portion of your body, call out to relax. Start with your toe nails and work upwards but remember to engage every part separately. For example start as ‘my first finger of left toe is relaxing then second’ and so on up till head and hair strands. This movement engages your mind in different direction and slowly you will notice that you are getting sleepy.

 

  • There is another way to get sound sleep in heavy noise and that is to construct and imagine happy event. This may seem foolish but it works for many people. What you have to do is to imagine a person with whom you want to spend quality time, and then imagine a dream destination putting elements that you fantasize. Next is to indulge yourself in possible conversations with the person and also imagine his/her replies. You can make it in the form of dream date, happy meeting or anything you like.

 

  • If the sound is too loud then best way to get sleep in this condition is to count numbers starting from last to first. Imagine a number that should be of three digits and from that start counting backwards. This helps a lot to get sleep, as your brain is involved in counting activity, you will forget everything about the outside voice. If possible, count numbers in your mother tongue as it makes the procedure simple and effective.

 

  • Record and listen a sound that sooths your mind, most people record relaxing sound of waves, air, gushing water or similar and listen with the help of recorder in night. This should be listened with the help of headphones to get maximum effect. The choice of sound is totally yours and if you are spiritual then you can record poems, chanting of OM and similar god related texts.

 

  • The next tip may sound weird but helps many to get rid of the annoying sound. If you have ceiling fan at home then stare at the fan and its circular movements as this sometimes make the brain dizzy which could be concluded in sound sleep. If you don’t have ceiling fan then stare at any object present in your room that is moving which could be your wall clock.

 

If nothing helps in getting sleep then you may consider purchasing earplugs that seal the outside sound and provide healthy sleep. Having earplugs for sealing sound could be effective but it produces risk of sleeping until late because you won’t even hear the alarm clock. It is better that you try all the above mentioned tips as they would surely give you sound sleep in heavy outside noise.

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Oct 262011
 

It is not very unusual to think very clearly and loudly at night especially when you are in viagra bed. This happens because throughout the day you are so busy and hardly get a chance to stop and think, and so finally when you get in bed, and have nothing else to do there often come thoughts and wisdom. This is one of the reasons why some of the world renowned artists got inspiration at night time to write even better. Continue reading »