Wanna guess what’s a huge quality of life issue for the elderly–not getting enough sleep. I know, I know, no surprises here, but my question is: does it have to be? According to a recent study published in The American Journal of Medicine, more than 50% of older Americans get less sleep than they need.
Dr. Harrison G. Bloom, a senior associate at the International Longevity Center-USA and associate clinical professor of geriatrics and medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City says that “Sleep problems and sleep disorders are not an inherent part of aging (emphasis mine).” So something else is going on that’s keeping our older generations from getting the rest they need. I believe that sleep disorders in the elderly are primarily from three things:
- Pain–many older people are suffering from chronic aches and pains. If they are seeing a typical medical physician, then they are probably getting plenty of pain pills, anti-inflammatories, and some good ol’ fashioned sleeping pills. However, none of these things actually helps remove the pain. Duh! No wonder they can’t sleep.
- Multiple medications–many older folk are on more meds than they can count on both hands. Shame, shame American health care system. Check the side effects of any meds you’ve got lying around; I’ll bet $100 that 50% of them have insomnia as one of their potentials.
- Charged mental chatter–this is the stuff that plagues all of us; however, older people often have more worries, therefore, less sleep.
So to answer the question: Does it have to be this way? The answer is NO. Older people can benefit from many of the same things younger people benefit from:
- regular exercise
- wholesome diets
- pain management–or even better, a solution–see a chiropractor
- mental exercises–reading, puzzles, mathematics, learning something new
- mental balance–dissolve the charges (read my upcoming book to find out how)
- find non-drug alternatives
The final entry above can only be accomplished by taking impeccable care of oneself. Really, everyone, you need to get a copy of The Six Keys to Optimal Health; it’ll show you the way.