Optimal Sleep for Successful Aging

To Age Successfully, We Need to Get Optimal Sleep

Slide Presentation for Successful Aging - Sleep

Sleep is critical to your mental health metabolic health, immune functioning, and even your risk of dementia. Our brains need 7-9 hours of natural sleep every day to be at our best.

Here is the slide deck.

What is a systematic approach to sleeping better?

Step 1 is to determine what is the cause of your sleep problem.  
  1. Any signs of sleep disordered breathing, like
    Snoring, nocturia, dry mouth, headaches, daytime sleepiness, jaw pain, other chronic pains?  If so, think Sleep Apnea. Get a sleep study. Do an airway assessment if there is an airway specialist in your area.  How can I find such a specialist?  Try this tool.
  2. Are you using any chemicals that can worsen sleep, like Hypnotics, alcohol, anticholinergics?
    If so, try to abstain for 30 days, and really work on your sleep hygiene (see below handout).
  3. Any other root cause diseases, like depression or pain?  If so, try to treat the root cause.  Keep in mind that often times, it is the sleep disturbance that is causing the depression or the pain.  
  4. Could it be some unhealthy sleep habiut you have picked up?  Try to optimize your sleep hygiene.  If available in your region, you can also try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
  5. Could you have an imbalance with your Circadian Clock?  Some people can have this biological clock set too early or too late, such as early morning awakening or late onset of sleepiness.  
    If you have early morning awakening insomnia, you may need to try to shift your circadian clock backward, by exposing yourself to a bright light box in the evening.
    If you have the opposite problem (late onset of sleepiness), you can try melatonin at night + morning light therapy to shift clock earlier.


Sleep Action Plan

What are the key ways we can set ourselves up for a good night's sleep?

This handout includes a list of healthy Sleep Hygiene practices.  

Sleep Packet

This packet contains: 

Sleep Well: Tips for Getting a Good Night's Rest - A list of sleey hygiene practices that can help you sleep better the rest of your life.

The Consensus Sleep Diary - Log your daily sleep and share this log with your healthcare professional.

Checklist to Identify and Fix Your Airway, Breathing, and Sleep Problems - A focus on the importance of your airway
Super Helpful Free Apps - to help you measure your snoring and even get meaningful sleep counseling.