Sleep is an important part of what keeps people healthy, including older adults. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation concerning sleep out there. Some of what you may have heard about sleep and believe to be true could be just another myth. Having correct information is crucial to helping your older family member to stay as healthy as possible. To help you learn more about sleep and its role in health, below are some common sleep myths and the truth behind them.

Myth: Snoring is nothing to worry about.

Truth: A lot of people snore, and for many people, it really isn’t a problem. However, for some, it can be a sign of a medical condition called sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea temporarily stop breathing while sleeping. They often wake up through the night gasping for breath. One of the signs of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Sometimes it is so loud that it disturbs others. People with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Experts believe the increased risk is due to a lack of oxygen caused by the pauses in breathing. Sleep apnea is a treatable condition. If you suspect your aging relative has it, talk to their doctor. The condition is often treated using a CPAP machine to help them breathe better while sleeping.

Senior care can assist your older family member with sleep apnea to get ready for bed at night, including properly putting on their CPAP mask and turning the machine on.

Myth: Remembering a dream is a sign of a good night’s sleep.

Truth: Dreams primarily happen during the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep. Scientists believe that the majority of people dream every night, whether they remember or not. However, contrary to popular belief, being able to remember dreams might be a sign of not sleeping well. Studies suggest that the reason some people are able to recall more dreams is that they tend to wake up before a certain hormone is produced that prevents the brain from remembering dreams. As a result, remembering dreams is really a product of waking up at the proper time.

Senior care can help your aging relative to sleep better at night by assisting them to follow a routine that promotes better sleep, such as getting up and going to bed at the same time each day and switching to relaxing activities in the evening.

Myth: Watching television can help seniors to relax before bed.

Truth: While watching television might be relaxing, the blue light given off by the screen can promote wakefulness. Therefore, it’s better for older adults to do things like read a book or listen to music before bed.

A senior care provider can remind your older family member to turn off the television a few hours before bedtime and engage in something else, like a good book. If the older adult has difficulty reading because of poor eyesight, a senior care provider can read to them.


Avonlea Cottage of Dixon is licensed in the state of Illinois as a shared housing establishment. It is a private home-like environment for seniors suffering from memory loss issues. If you, or an aging loved-one, are considering senior care in Lanark, IL, call us to get more information and schedule a tour. (815) 288-6044.

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