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Seniors sleep better when they follow a schedule

Category: General Health

Routine may be key for better night's sleep for seniorsAs people reach old age, they frequently report increased difficulty in sleeping. Now a study has shown that senior citizens can avoid insomnia and improve their sleep quality by following a set routine as they perform daily chores.

Seniors sleep better when they choose the same time every day to do tasks like eating, dressing and bathing, according to a story on WebMD.

Between 2007 and 2008, researchers studied the sleep habits of 96 Russian-speaking older adults living in two retirement communities. The subjects lived in independent apartments stocked with kitchenettes, so they could set their own meal times.

Doctors were surprised to find that patients' sleep patterns were not affected by the specific order of activities or the time of the day they occurred. Instead, the most important feature was following the same schedule every day.

"We predicted that there would be a relationship between routine activity patterns and sleep quality," said study researcher Ana Zisberg, of the University of Haifa in Israel. "However, given the widely accepted view that light is the major synchronizer of the human sleep-wake cycle, we were surprised that our findings were so robust."

The study revealed that people who followed strict routines took less time to fall asleep than other seniors, enjoyed better sleep quality, and spent more time sleeping while in bed.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19708446-ADNFCR

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