Choosing a bed for an older person or choosing the appropriate beds for care homes is a highly important decision to make. Sleep is essential for wellbeing, particularly in older adults. According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 80% of older adults report a struggle to sleep and one of the first steps to combatting this issue is the perfect bed!
Here, we discuss how sleep deprivation can affect older adults...
Brain health and dementia
If an older adult is not getting the necessary amount of sleep, they may be more at risk of developing age-related cognitive decline. Poor sleep is also considered a risk factor for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Amyloid protein in the brain is thought to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, which is believed to be reduced by slow-wave deep sleep. Therefore, if this sleep isn’t happening, the amount of amyloid protein in the brain may be increased.
For people of all ages, sleep and mood have always been found to be closely related. However, for older adults, particularly those who are living alone or in care homes, emotional wellbeing may already be declining. If they are sleeping poorly on top of this, their hormone levels will be further disrupted, and they may become more irritable and stressed. Insomnia is also known to lead to further mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
As people get older, their ability to concentrate and keep the brain active becomes more and more important. However, the ability to concentrate on everyday tasks is sensitive to the effects of sleep loss, as the brain is not able to function at its usual standards.
Sleep deprivation has the potential to impair a person’s learning abilities, meaning they are unable to recall and store certain memories. If a person suffers from sleep problems while they are middle-aged, they may still be suffering from memory issues as much as a decade down the line. Many older people find themselves feeling paranoid about memory loss, believing that it may be a sign of developing Dementia. Therefore, it is important to try and improve their sleep, so this can be ruled out.
Poor sleep in older people can also have negative effects on reaction time, decision making, creativity, and lead to a higher risk of falling, which can be life-threatening to an elderly person. For more information or advice on which strong beds may be most suited to older adults or care homes, please don’t hesitate to contact us.