March 09, 2018 in: top 8 ways for seniors to get better sleep,
Many seniors complain of not enjoying a good night’s sleep. If one thinks that after crossing 60+, they will sleep like they used to when young is delusional. As we grow older, our sleep-cycle changes. One may have noticed that upon reaching a certain phase in life, seniors begin sleeping early at nights and waking up early in the morning too.
The reasons are multiple –first, their bones are degrading which means that they get tired more frequently, second, they have gone through many hormonal changes due to the medication they are on that has pushed back their circadian clock and third, lack of activities which leaves them with not many options to pass the time.
Whichever is the cause, if sleep doesn’t come like it should or used to, here are 10 tips to help you change that. Let’s take a look below.
Our bodies follow orders directed by our brains. If we train the brain to sleep and wake up at a fixed time, every night, it will adapt to that change and make it a norm. Practicing this overtime, every night even when one isn’t tired to sleep or too tired to get up will establish a routine which will make sleeping easier and prevent insomnia.
Napping interferes with the internal circadian clock. Afternoon naps, in particular, puts the body out of sync and make sleeping time at night very difficult. Therefore, they must be avoided. In case, one does feel like taking a nap or too tired to go on with routine chores, the nap should be limited to 20 times maximum.
Alcohol before bedtime recharges the brain which makes it difficult for it to release melatonin –an essential chemical hormone that induces sleep. Thus, its consumption must be limited to 4 to 5 hours before bedtime. The same applies to caffeine since it also energizes us.
Performing exercises close to bedtime also puts off the internal body clock. It must be restricted to 3 to 4 hours before bedtime at most.
If sleep doesn’t come naturally, seniors can also try inducing it by either taking a warm bath or engaging in activities that stimulate it. For instance, one can dim the lights in the room, read a book or listen to calming music.
The room designated for sleeping shouldn’t encourage the blue light from our smart gadgets research studies to reveal it halts the release of melatonin in the brain since it has a high wavelength and reaches deeper into our eyes.
Since the bones of seniors are more prone to sensitivity and damage, the wrong choice of mattress or pillows can also result in poor and painful sleeping. Therefore, when it comes to investing in both, be sure to purchase one that caters to your body’s needs well. Otherwise, one can expect to wake up feeling pain throughout the body especially neck and lower back.
Distractions can also make it difficult for the brain to sense it is time to sleep. For instance, if one has the lights on or is constantly disturbed by the sound from a portable fan or dripping water from a faucet in the adjacent bathroom, it can trick the mind into thinking it is daytime and thus, the time to remain active. This will, of course, slow down the release of melatonin or even complexly stop it, making the individual waste hours before sleep final comes.
March 02, 2018 in: how seniors can stay young,
Just because one has a few grey hairs growing out doesn’t mean it is time to give up on all activities and lay in bed waiting for the death angel to pay a visit. Staying young and feeling happy is important at any age. When we grow older, say reach the 50-mark, we experience major changes in our lives. We quit our jobs, our kids move out and we are left in a house all by ourselves or another partner. Ten years down the road, we begin losing many of our loved ones and our bodies don’t remain the same either. All of these circumstances can lead to unhappiness and depression, as suggested by hundreds and thousands of research studies.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The only reason seniors feel this way is because of lack of activities, interests, and hobbies to fill their day. Here are some great ones seniors can adopt without investing too much of physical efforts.
Gardening is a great way to stay active on the feet as it requires devoted commitment. A garden is easy to set up and makes for a very fulfilling activity once the flowers begin to bloom and the trees become fruitful. Gardening for seniors increases their mobility and encourages their motor skills. Furthermore, it is also a very relaxing activity.
Those who think exercise requires motivation can always start with a low-intensity jog or walk. It will help keep the muscle mass intact which is one of the biggest complaints in old age. Walking also offers other benefits like improved blood circulation, an improvement in sleep, enhanced cognitive abilities, increased balance and stability and stronger joints.
Swimming has a number of perks to offer to seniors. It is a low-intensity workout which is great for the joints and also for the heart. Indoor swimming serves as a great aerobic exercise to keep one physically fit. Seniors can also join group sessions which will improve their level of engagement and communication with others their age.
4. Learning A New Language or Instrument
Research shows that learning a new musical instrument or a language is much easier for an adult as it is for a child. Learning an instrument as an adult is easier because you have spent a major part of your life listening to some form of music, which allows one to make better sense of the tunes and concepts. The same goes for learning a new lingo. Both of these activities can be a great source of passing time and keep one distracted from depressing thoughts.
Volunteering is another great example of how to keep engaged with others both emotionally and physically. Helping others, in itself has a warm feeling associated with it. It instills a sense of responsibility and hope in one’s life. Seniors can help volunteer at libraries, community centers, schools, and churches by offering both monetary and emotional help. This way, they will stay connected and feel important at the same time.
February 27, 2018 in: Steps to Follow to Prevent Heart Disease,
It is true that heart diseases are the most common cause of deaths worldwide. But like any other disease, one shouldn’t accept it their fate to die from it. There are many practices and habits, which, if we choose to live by, can prevent a heart attack or stroke. One may say it can’t be prevented since it runs in the family genes; this shouldn’t be the only excuse one gives.
There are many tips to lessen the chances (if not completely eliminate them), of developing heart diseases. This article will discuss some of these in detail.
Nearly 20% to 40% of deaths caused by coronary heart diseases each year can be prevented if we just quit smoking. Smoking doubles the chances of an individual to developing heart disease, especially experiencing a heart stroke which leads to a sudden and painful death.
Alternatively, the good news is that if one gives up smoking, it reduces his/her chances of not only developing a heart disease but also increasing their lifespan to up 10 years.
Check Your Blood Pressure
Though it doesn’t have any symptoms, research shows that those who have high blood pressure levels are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who don’t. A well-maintained blood pressure also contributes to keeping the kidneys healthy and prevent cognitive decline as we age. Statistics from American heart association reveals that more than 30% of Americans live with high blood pressure and aren’t even aware of it.
The next step involves getting off the couch and indulging in a moderate to a hardcore exercise regime. Regular exercise has been associated with strengthening the heart by increasing the levels of the good cholesterol in the body that help keep arteries and veins from getting blocked. Multiple research studies propose engaging in 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise daily to keep blood pressure normal and not gain excess weight –another contributor to heart diseases.
Too much cholesterol contributes to plaque build around the heart and arteries that root from it. Ideally, a person should try to keep their cholesterol levels below 200 ml/dL. Anything above that is worrisome and life-threatening.
One must try to limit the intake of saturated fats or foods that are high in sodium. At the same time, a strict count on sugars should also be practiced at all of these build the unhealthy fat in the body and around the heart which results in blocked arteries and veins and fluctuations in heart rate.
We must try to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead as they keep the blood pressure maintained and cholesterol levels low –the two things that we already discussed above.
Sleep deprivation leads to obesity high blood pressure and diabetes as proven by years of research. All of these also increase the chances of developing a heart condition. Thus, adolescents, adults, and seniors –all should follow a fixed sleeping schedule even on the weekends to lower their chances of heart problems.
Finally, research also links stress and heart diseases. Too much stress can raise our blood pressure levels, and therefore, trigger a heart attack. One must try to manage stress at all times and consider counseling if it starts to affect the quality of life.