Nina Ranken explores how too much sleep puts seniors at risk of Dementia: Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise for ageing individuals, according to studies. But a new study has found a link between seniors spending too long in bed and the development of dementia. Poor sleep habits, a decline in physical health, and mental well-being all play a role in seniors spending more time in bed than necessary. So, they must do everything they can to get a good night’s sleep.
Adopt a good routine
The study found that participants were 69% more likely to get dementia if they slept longer than 8 hours compared to 7 to 8 hours. Having a good sleep routine is a good way for seniors to get the right amount of sleep they need. Going to bed and getting up at the same time is recommended. It’s good for people to stay active as they get older, but doing too much in one day can make them extra tired and cause them to sleep for too long. It’s best if they spread out the activities they want to do over a longer period.
53% of seniors over the age of 65 live with chronic pain. Pain can make seniors want to sleep more. Being comfortable in bed can make a world of difference to an ageing person’s pain. An electric adjustable bed can help, particularly with hip and back pain. A wedge can be used instead of pillows to support the neck and upper spine. Many seniors swear by weighted blankets as they reduce the symptoms associated with chronic pain. Deep pressure stimulation from weighted blankets help to balance out the hormones associated with sleep. This allows seniors to get better quality sleep, so the risk of sleeping for longer than 8 hours is lowered.
Have a medication review
89% of seniors take prescription medication. Many medications cause sleepiness that could force them to sleep for long periods. This subsequently puts them at increased risk of dementia. Seniors should speak to their doctor about any medication they take and avoid taking any that causes drowsiness late in the day, if possible. Seniors should also reconsider taking sleeping pills. One-third currently do so, but these could induce a longer sleep than necessary.
Sleep plays a big role in the ageing process. But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. All ageing individuals should review their sleeping habits and rethink their sleeping arrangements in a bid to protect their health.