Homewatch CareGivers In-Home Care and Senior Support recognizes the importance of getting enough good quality sleep and the consequences of not getting enough sleep that can affect your mind and thinking. Regardless of the words used to describe it, the result will still be the same. We need sleep to function. It’s a critical process that allows the body to function and stay healthy and it is especially important for the brain. Rafael Pelayo, MD, a sleep specialist at Stanford Sleep Medicine Center in California, talks about how our entire body takes advantage of sleep. “Sleep is how the brain gets rest for the next day, sleep restores the brain.” What this tells us is that over time, not getting enough good quality sleep can have an impact on many systems in our body. It can contribute to risk of chronic disease and health problems, as well as impacting our mind and thinking.
There is also evidence that over time, continually not getting enough sleep could be connected to the build up of proteins in the brain that are linked to problems such as; Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological problems. When you really start to think about it, it is not just our minds that need sleep. There are other systems in our body that just do not work right after not getting a good nights’ sleep. Some people may become hungrier, crave and eat more, and are more likely to catch a cold or the flu. Researchers believe that “sleep deprivation has shown to mess up our immune systems function.” It has been linked to higher risk of chronic problems such as;
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease & hypertension
- Depression, anxiety, & other mood disorders
- Poor immune function (Sarah DiGiulio, Sleep 101)
A good place to start to avoid becoming one of these statistics is to get enough sleep! According to guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation, the recommended sleep times for older adults is seven to nine hours. According to Dr Pelayo, “you should never be too concerned about the number of hours that you sleep in a night, but you should never wake up feeling tired. You should always wake feeling refreshed.” The Homewatch CareGivers Alzheimer’s home care program has been designed to maintain overall independence and quality of life for clients living with memory impairments and associated cognitive challenges. Click here For more information on Living with Alzheimer’s Disease