Sleep is a fundamental aspect of human health and well-being, and its importance only increases as we age. Unfortunately, studies estimate that one in three older adults suffers from insomnia, and more than half of adults over age 65 report some form of sleep disturbance. The good news is that recent research highlights how lifestyle interventions can positively impact healthy sleep outcomes.
Lifestyle medicine principles like those promoted by Avidon Health, including diet, physical activity, and stress management, have been shown to improve sleep quality and duration. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that adults who followed a healthy lifestyle had a lower risk of developing sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder associated with reduced oxygen intake.
A healthy diet also plays a critical role in promoting healthy sleep patterns in older populations. Research indicates that diets high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals can help regulate melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. Additionally, reducing caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake before bedtime and limiting food intake three to four hours before bedtime can also promote healthy sleep.
Stress management techniques, including meditation and yoga, have also been shown to improve sleep quality in older populations. A study published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology found that older adults who participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program had significantly improved sleep quality and decreased insomnia symptoms.
The application of several lifestyle medicine principles can lead to better sleep outcomes for individuals. However, the numerous factors and considerations involved can quickly become overwhelming for both healthcare professionals and individuals. Thanks to technological advancements in lifestyle medicine, healthcare professionals can now provide personalized care paths that are easy to implement and encourage healthy sleep patterns. Avidon Health’s Engagement Rx®, for example, offers behavior-based content that addresses sleep hygiene and the importance of quality sleep, as well as techniques for stress management and relaxation to improve sleep.
In conclusion, healthy sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being, particularly for older adults. Fortunately, lifestyle interventions like those promoted by Lifestyle Medicine principles can positively impact healthy sleep outcomes in older populations. By adopting a healthy diet, incorporating physical activity and stress management techniques like meditation and yoga, and engaging with personalized care path experiences like Engagement Rx, older adults can experience better sleep quality and duration, leading to improved overall health and well-being.