Friday the 15th of March is World Sleep Day, an annual event arranged by the World Sleep Society, designed to raise awareness of the importance of sleep and draw attention to sleep related issues, and this years focus is on Healthy Sleep, Healthy Ageing.
As we age, our sleep patterns and the amount of sleep we need to help maintain our physical and mental health changes.
“As we get older, the hormones that help us sleep are released earlier in the day. Some older adult’s may feel sleepy earlier than they used to and they may wake up in the early hours of the morning. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the body at night which promotes sleep. Older people make less melantonin so they may find it difficult to get off to sleep. Other factors may interfere with sleep and cause awakenings during the night. These include hot flushes in postmenopausal women and the need to go to the toilet during the night.” – Sleep Health Facts Ageing and Sleep. Sleep Health Foundation.
The affects of a lack of sleep on our daily lives and functioning can be significant. A lack of sleep can result in:
And those who are regularly not getting enough sleep tend to look and feel older than they are and have an increased risk of contracting diseases that are associated with ageing such as diabetes and heart disease.
So if you are not getting enough sleep every night, for your long term health and well being, beginning today, make a conscious effort to make some changes that may assist you in getting a better night’s sleep.