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OLDER AMERICANS CAN REST EASY

 OLDER AMERICANS CAN REST EASY
 ATLANTA, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- More than one-half of people aged


65 and older and living at home suffer from disruptive sleep problems. Two-thirds of those living in supervised care facilities do.
 Although changes in sleep patterns are an unavoidable part of aging, sleep problems don't have to disrupt the quality of life for older Americans.
 According to Dr. Alan Lankford, a certified somnologist and Simmons Beautyrest sleep expert, normal changes in sleep patterns later in life include less time spent in deep stages of sleep, waking more often during the night, staying awake longer with each awakening and disturbance of the daily sleep-wake cycle.
 Other problems of aging, including health problems, aches and pains, depression and disease, only complicate sleep problems. Some sleep problems -- among them narcolepsy, sleep apnea and insomnia -- are more common in older people.
 For those experiencing age-related sleep problems, Lankford recommends the following:
 -- Get complete information on all prescription drugs you normally take. Older Americans consume more than 30 percent of all drugs prescribed in this country, many of which are dispensed for sleep complaints. Chronic use of these drugs, however, can mask serious sleep disorders that may go untreated. Further, combinations of drugs can cause sleep problems. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
 -- Establish and stick to regular times to go to bed and to arise. The pattern will help you sleep. With retirement, there is no longer a responsibility to be at work at a certain time -- a freedom that can interfere with waking and, therefore, sleep.
 -- Reserve time in bed for sleeping. Move the TV from the bedroom and don't snack or pay bills in bed.
 -- Keep the bedroom conducive to sleep -- dark and quiet.
 -- Exercise early in the day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at night.
 -- Consider a larger bed. As you age, you may need more room to be comfortable. The standard double bed provides two people the same room as a baby crib.
 -- Consider a different kind of bed or a new mattress. If your mattress is more than 10 years old, it may not be providing the comfort you need. You might consider an adjustable bed or a waterbed for more comfort. Be sure to lie down in different positions when shopping for new bedding.
 -- Consider seeing a doctor if your sleep problem persists. Sleep apnea -- periods of interrupted breathing during sleep -- affects a quarter of older Americans. It can be treated successfully when diagnosed. Insomnia disrupts the quality of life for you and for family members, which sometimes leads to institutionalization.
 For a free brochure about sleep, call the Simmons Beautyrest hotline at 800-435-5155.
 -0- 7/21/92
 /CONTACT: Kathy Doherty of Ketchum Public Relations, 404-873-1711, for Simmons Beautyrest/ CO: Simmons Beautyrest ST: Georgia IN: SU:


SM -- NYHFNS28 -- 1021 07/21/92 07:12 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 21, 1992
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