If we sleep a third of our life, that’s because sleep is fundamental for our health. According to the NFS study (National Sleep Foundation), a senior needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep to avoid the risk of tiredness during the day. Senior needs as much sleep as a 30-year-old adult. However, older people are more often confronted with sleep disorders which can have negative effects on their health.
Why do older people sleep less well? What are the risks ? how to act during repeated signs of fatigue?
1. Why do older people sleep less well? What are the consequences?
There are several reasons that can deteriorate the quality of sleep in an older person. With age, the time you sleep tends to decrease. Its rhythm also changes: the nights are more fragmented, interrupted by nocturnal awakenings, the phases of deep sleep are shortened and become less qualitative. Usually, you go to bed earlier and you wake up too. If the days are not rhythmic, they can feel very long and cause the need to take a nap, which can delay falling asleep at bedtime.
Other factors can affect the quality of the nights, such as sleep apnea and snoring, which is often annoying without necessarily noticing it during the night. However, the factors can create fatigue and drowsiness during the day.
The older a person is, the more they may be confronted with chronic pain in the joints, pathologies requiring medication that can interfere with sleep. Changes in habits such as returning from hospital or rearranging the home can also upset the person and cause anxiety. This can also have a real impact on the quality of sleep.
Restless sleep, nights that are too short, these disorders can have serious consequences for the health of a senior. The accumulation of fatigue can increase daytime sleepiness, irritability, lack of alertness, depression and sometimes certain pathological disorders. These consequences can obviously have a strong impact on the autonomy of the elderly.
2. What are the solutions to have better sleep?
As soon as certain signs of fatigue set in in an elderly person, it is recommended to schedule a medical consultation to screen for possible sleep disorders. If diagnosed early enough, they can be treated and limit the decline in cognitive function.
If you notice signs of fatigue having repercussions on the behavior of the senior, it is possible to help him find a better sleep. here is an example of some good habits:
- It is important to keep a daily routine. It allows you to start the day with goals, to stay awake, intellectually focused and physically active.
- Have regular physical activity, even if it is not daily. Walking, yoga, gardening, etc.
- Exposure to daylight as much as possible.
- Limit the number of naps and reduce their duration to 20 to 30 minutes maximum. So that it does not affect falling asleep at night.
- Promote relaxation in the evening, listen to soft music, read a book rather than looking at the screens.
3. What is the role of the NOVIAcare system in monitoring sleep?
The accumulation of fatigue may be the cause of a proven loss of autonomy in an elderly person. To avoid aggravating symptoms, and to anticipate this loss of autonomy, the NOVIAcare system makes it possible to read these potential drifts.
Once the NOVIAcare system is installed in the senior’s home, its installed sensors will learn and analyze the senior’s behavior and lifestyle. Thus, the box will know the times of sunrise and sunset, any nocturnal awakenings (eg: going to the toilet) and detect any anomaly related to sleep:
- Multiplication of nocturnal sunrises
- Abnormal modification of the hours of sunsets and sunsets
- Long rest periods during the day
These changes in habits can also be linked to a deterioration in daily activity
In the event of an anomaly detected, an alert will be sent to the listening center available 24/7 and to the NOVIAcare mobile application available for caregivers who can take the necessary measures.
Like a good diet, and holding of regular activity, sleep is fundamental to the well-being of a person, to sustainably conserve power and limit the degradation or the appearance of certain age-related diseases.