A Good Night’s Sleep: NIHSeniorHealth Offers Helpful Information
I have trouble falling asleep. Is that what I should expect at
my age? Why do older adults wake up at night? When should I see
a doctor about a sleeping problem? What are some suggestions for
getting a good night’s sleep? Now, information about sleep
and aging is only a mouse click away at www.nihseniorhealth.gov.
The Web site also offers hints for sleeping well. For example,
exercising regularly improves the quality of your nighttime sleep
and helps you sleep more soundly, and doing the same things each
night tell your body that it's time to wind down.
Like food and water, adequate sleep is essential to good health
and quality of life. Not sleeping well can lead to a number of
problems. For example, older adults who have poor nighttime sleep
are more likely to have a depressed mood, attention and memory
problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, more nighttime falls, and
to use more over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids. Sleep
problems also are associated with a poorer quality of life.
“Although sleep patterns change as we age, disturbed sleep
and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging. In
fact, many healthy older adults report few or no sleep problems,” says
Andrew A. Monjan, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief of the Neurobiology of Aging
Branch of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). “NIHSeniorHealth
now has accurate, up-to-date information to help all older Americans
get a good night’s sleep.”
One of the fastest growing age groups using the Internet, older
Americans increasingly turn to the World Wide Web for health information.
In fact, 66 percent of “wired” seniors surf for health
and medical information when they go online. NIHSeniorHealth, a
joint effort of the NIA and the National Library of Medicine (NLM),
was designed especially with seniors in mind. The site is based
on the latest research on cognition and aging. It features short,
easy-to-read segments of information that can be accessed in a
variety of formats, including various large-print type sizes, open-captioned
videos, and even an audio version. Additional topics coming soon
to the site include problems with taste and smell, eye diseases,
stroke, and osteoporosis. The site links to MedlinePlus, NLM’s
premier, more detailed site for consumer health information.
The NIA leads the Federal effort supporting and conducting
research on aging and the health and well-being of older people.
The NLM, the world's largest library of the health sciences,
creates and sponsors Web-based health information resources for
the public and professionals. All three are components of the
National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, part of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.