Difficulty sleeping is a serious issue that affects scores of people in various stages of life, and which can have a debilitating impact on careers, relationships, and overall quality of life. Understanding how sleep cycles are influenced by daily activities and personal factors is an important pursuit among researchers, and breakthroughs can have a profound benefit for people suffering from poor sleep efficiency, difficulty falling asleep, and other associated challenges. The elderly population was the subject of a recent study investigating the relationship between daily routines and sleep quality, with research based at the University of Haifa in Israel and focused on a group of mature adults aged fifty eight to eight nine. The research found that a steady maintenance of daily routines among participants contributed to better sleep.
Participants were involved in a year-long examination of their sleep quality as compared to the regularity of their daily routines. These routines were distinguished between those that were basic, including simple acts of eating and dressing, and those that involved outside elements such as the use of public transportation or attending medical appointments. Numerous inventories and scales were used to document the regularity and quality of routines, and researchers found that there was a direct relationship between consistent simple routine performance and improved sleep in terms of efficiency, quality, and the time needed to fall asleep at night.
The researchers have noted that while many theories surrounding sleep quality focus on light, the study may help gain support for the idea that improved self-regulation can directly influence sleep. As elderly people often face pronounced changes in sleep quality as they age, the work suggests that easily-adoptable steps towards improvement may be available.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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