Sleep and Aging
True or False: People over 50 actually require less sleep
than younger adults.
If you answered “False,” you’re right. A common
misconception is that older adults need less sleep than
How much sleep do we really need?
The amount of sleep you need does depend on your
age. Children and adolescents, for example, need more
sleep than adults. Older adults need about the same
amount of sleep as younger adults (seven to nine hours
This chart shows the general recommendations for
various age groups:
Age Recommended Amount
Newborns 16–18 hours a day
Preschool-aged children 11–12 hours a day
School-aged children At least 10 hours a day
Teens 9–10 hours a day
Adults (including the elderly) 7–8 hours a day
Sleep needs and older adults
Regardless of age, sleeping well is essential to physical
and emotional well-being. For many adults, a good
night’s sleep is especially important because it helps
improve concentration and memory. Sleep can allow
your body to repair any cell damage that occurred
during the day and even helps strengthen your immune
system. Unfortunately, many older adults often get less
sleep than they probably need.
Along with the obvious physical changes associated
with aging, certain changes to your sleep patterns are
also part of the normal aging process. A lot of older
adults have a harder time falling asleep. Then, once they
actually do fall asleep, older people tend to sleep less
deeply, waking up more often throughout the night.
This may be why many seniors often feel a need to nap
during the daytime. Sleep schedules may change with
age too. Many older adults tend to get sleepy earlier in
the evening and awaken earlier in the morning.
Poor sleep can lead to problems
Not sleeping well can result in a number of health
problems. Older adults who have poor sleep are more
likely to have depressed moods, attention and memory
problems, and excessive daytime sleepiness. They are
prone to more accidents and falls, more illnesses and
infections, as well as a significantly reduced overall
quality of life. Sometimes, they become dependent on
alcohol or medications just to go to sleep.
Sleep problems unrelated to age
Regardless of age, everyone has an occasional “bad night” of sleeping. If, however, you experience any of these
symptoms on a regular basis, talk to your doctor.
• Trouble falling asleep, even though you feel tired
• Trouble getting back to sleep when awakened
• Don’t feel refreshed, even after a night’s sleep
• Irritable or sleepy during the day
• Difficulty concentrating
• Difficulty staying awake when sitting still,
watching television, or driving
• Rely on alcohol (a “nightcap”) or sleeping pills
to fall asleep
• Trouble controlling your emotions
Many people believe that poor sleep is a “normal” part of aging, but it is not. In fact, many healthy older adults
report few or no sleep problems. Sleep patterns do change as we age, but disturbed sleep and daytime drowsiness
are not part of normal aging. If you are having trouble sleeping, see your doctor or a sleep specialist. There are
treatments that can help.
Onlife Health - HealthBreak - Feb 2014
SchoolCare members: Summary of Rewards- below
Definition of Wellness
What is the definition of wellness? More than ever before, we hear this word in the news, on billboards, in conversation and even at work. Interestingly, there is no universally-accepted definition of wellness. There is, however, a set of common characteristics seen in most thoughtful attempts at a definition of wellness. We generally see a reference to a “state of well-being,” which is vague, to say the least. Also frequently seen is a “state of acceptance or satisfaction with our present condition.”
The truth is wellness is a tough word to define. That said, we’ll leave it to Charles B. Corbin of Arizona State University who gives this definition of wellness: “Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.”
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.
- Process means that improvement is always possible
- Aware means that we are continuously seeking more information about how we can improve.
- Choices means that we consider a variety of options and select those in our best interest.
- Success is determined by each individual to be their collection of life accomplishments.
Dimensions of Wellness
If wellness is multidimensional, what are the dimensions of wellness? The most commonly described sub-dimensions are the following:
- Social Wellness
- Occupational Wellness
- Spiritual Wellness
- Physical Wellness
- Intellectual Wellness
- Emotional Wellness
- Environmental Wellness
- Financial Wellness
- Mental Wellness
- Medical Wellness
Vocational Wellness and Environmental Wellness are not personal in nature, but a person's working and physical environments are factors that influence personal wellness. Research is necessary to clearly establish the relationship among the sub-dimensions. While the exact dimensions of wellness could be debated, we believe the ones listed here make up a good list.
Ultimately, the dimensions of wellness all fall into two broader categories, being mental and physical. This is critical to note, as the mental or emotional component is often overlooked as focus on such main staples as physical fitness and chronic disease risk factors. In order to achieve a state of wellness in our own lives or try to guide others to it, we must pay due diligence to each of the dimensions. We may not all be physically fit or free from disease; we can, however, strive for increased wellness by working with what we’ve been dealt. It is very beneficial to learn about all areas of Medical Education in order to become more aware of improving one's health.
Staff Instructions for Insurance Reimbursements
School Care Reimbursement Instructions:
Health Education Reimbursement Up to $300 maximum reimbursement per family annually for pre-approved health related classes.
How to participate:
· Available to any SchoolCare covered family member (Subscriber or covered spouse/partner can submit for dependents)
· Request pre-approval before or upon registering for a class
o Log in to the GFY! web portal
o Click on the Health Education tab on the dashboard
o Click on “submit a new health education request”
o Complete and submit request form
· Must be a health/fitness-related, group instructed program (some restrictions apply, SchoolCare approves up to three months at a time for on-going classes)
· Once approved, a confirmation will be sent via email
· Upon finishing the class, print the Certificate of Completion Form, obtain the instructor’s signature, then submit it within 60 days with proof of payment to the address on the form (Forms are located under the Health Education tab on your GFY! Dashboard)
· Reimbursement will be issued in the amount of the cost of the class once the reimbursement form and proof of payment have been received and processed
LGC Insured: Physical Activity ($100) through Self-reported physical activity. Signed Class/Training Reimbursement Request Form