Even when wild weather isn’t keeping you or your pets up at night, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. Hormonal heat surges, heartburn, insomnia, and many other health conditions and lifestyle habits can wreak havoc with proper sleep. But prioritizing good sleep could help prevent a move into a nursing home, according to a new Australian study.
As reported by Market Watch, research that included more than 125,000 seniors found that older adults who reported getting a good night’s sleep of between 7 and 9 hours a night were 23 percent less likely to end up in a nursing home than those who got fewer than 5 hours sleep or who slept for 11 hours or more each night.
Researchers found that among the risk factors for a nursing home move, only smoking was found to be worse than poor sleep. Smokers in the study were twice as likely to wind up in a nursing home as nonsmokers. Exercise, social engagement, and a healthy diet all promote well-being and independence, but sleeping well is essential.
Staying active with regular moderate to vigorous exercise, spending less time sitting, and eating a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and fish, while avoiding processed and red meat time and again defines a healthy lifestyle. Regular social interaction is also essential for well-being and longevity.
Promoting Good Sleep
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule
- Turn off devices an hour before bedtime
- Unwind by reading, listening to music, taking a bath or shower, or meditating
- Keep the bedroom dark, quiet, cool, and free of distractions like smartphones or TVs
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine or large meals before bedtime
- Spend time outdoors in natural sunlight during the day
- Get regular exercise during the day
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention