How Much Sleep do Seniors Need?

communications with seniorsI was told that as we age we need less sleep. I must tell you that the truth is this. As we age we sleep less, but that doesn’t mean we need less sleep. Yes, our bodies are no longer changing and growing like a teenager.  Well, okay, they are growing and changing, that is still true, just not in the same way a youngsters body is.

The National Institutes of Health has put forth the proposition that older adults need 7 to 9 hours sleep, just like everyone else.  The fact that as we age our sleep tends to get interrupted more frequently with trips to the restroom, and just less REM sleep overall.  Brain function can become impaired at any age when we don’t give our minds and bodies enough rest and exercise. So I think it’s important to do the following:

  1. Find a way to ease aches and pains before retiring for the night, perhaps a warm bath, or a cup of tea
  2. If you are prone to leg pain, find just the right type of pillow to place between your knees
  3. Get plenty of exercise during the day, it’s good for your brain and will help you to sleep better
  4. If your mind gets restless when you lie in bed, try soothing music as a background for your sleep
  5. Dance whenever you can. Even if it’s by yourself at home. Dancing releases endorphins, and music makes us happy, when we feel happy and relaxed we sleep better.
  6. If you get really sleepy in the middle of the day, don’t be afraid to take a short nap. There are some people who have more trouble sleeping when they get overtired.

So remember, no matter how old we are we need our sleep…


Aileen Brazeau



Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Daddy’s Girl

Confessions of a Daddy’s Girl

By Karen Everett Watson – Gerontologist

forgiveness for past sins


As far back as my memory can take me, my daddy’s always called me “Angel.” Believe me, it’s not really descriptive of my character. I was always head strong and a challenge for him, as well as my mother. But somehow, that nickname made me a better person. I never wanted to disappoint my Daddy.

My Daddy was a tall, dark and handsome man. He’s still one of those three. His hair is now snow white, he’s a bit shorter, but he’s still the best looking guy I know. He taught me how to ride a bike, how a car engine works, and he toted me along with him on golf courses. Together we built fences for our country property, poured cement, put in windows, and play ping pong in the garage.

Those are great memories, but they are not the best things my daddy did for me. He taught me the importance of being honest, being loyal to family and friends, and to most of all – love God. He taught me not by words, but by deeds. He always believed I could do anything I set my mind to. Having him believe in me was the greatest gift he could possibly give. Somehow he made me believe I could!

He was always quick to let me know when I did something wrong. He was just as quick to forgive me, once he knew I was sorry. When I was about 12, my mother had to have emergency surgery. It wiped my parents savings completely out, and things got really tight. My mother was amazing with money. She knew where every penny went. Daddy worked 12 hour days, and we finally began to see a little wiggle room. I got it in my head that I wanted a tape recorder. Back in the 1960’s, not many children had one, but I thought I just couldn’t live without one. My daddy told me, “I’ll try to get you one, when we can afford it. You keep your grades up and we’ll see.”


One night, daddy came in from work and called me into the kitchen. It had been a month since I had asked for the tape recorder. He said, “You know that recorder you’ve been wanting?” That’s all he got out of his mouth before I launched in with a dozen reasons why he should buy me one. I hadn’t noticed the bag on the table. He had gone to the store after 12 hours on his feet to buy me that recorder. I was never more ashamed of myself. It took all the joy of giving me that recorder right out of the moment. I guess he could see how badly I felt. He didn’t say a word. I cried.

Even as an adult, my daddy’s seen me through tough times. He’s always been here to help me with house repairs, car repairs, financial disasters, and so much more. He adores my now-grown-children, and lives to see the great-grandkids. “Papa,” is the Grands’ favorite feller. He rarely misses a ball game, a swim meet, or a birthday celebration. He’ll sit for hours and watch them ride the trikes, bikes, or play in the fort he built them.

He’s always been precious to me. I don’t really know who I am without him. I almost lost my Daddy 10 years ago. But God had mercy on me and the rest of the family because although my Daddy lost a bladder , he is still going strong.

I know fathers and sons are often close as well, but I believe there’s a special connection to a daughter and her Daddy. He’s the first man who loves her. Somehow, I think that says it all.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

About Aging

“You can’t reach old age by another man’s road. My habits protect my life but they would assassinate you.”

~Mark Twain


“Long gone are the days when hospital stays and surgeries made up the bulk of seniors’ annual medical expenses.”

~Jim Gerlach


“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

~ Abraham Lincoln


“You can only perceive real beauty in a person as they get older.”

~Anouk Aimee


“There is no old age. There is, as there always was, just you.”

~Carol Matthau


“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.”

~Frank Lloyd Wright


“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. ”

~Franz Kafka


“Everyone is the age of their heart.”

~Guatemalan Proverb


“Age has whitened the hair of some men while leaving their hearts unaffected, which remain fresh and young and beat just as strongly for every good and beautiful thing. ”

~Ludoviko Zamenhof


“You’re never too old to become younger.”

~Mae West


“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”

~Mark Twain


“I am not young enough to know everything.”

~Oscar Wilde


“The years teach much which the days never knew.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


“When you have loved as she has loved, you grow old beautifully.”

~W. Somerset Maugham

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather