When an older adult has circulation problems, it can cause a multitude of complications, including fatigue, edema (swelling), and tingling sensation in their hands and feet. When poor circulation isn’t treated, it could even lead to amputation. There are a lot of things that can cause circulation problems. Research suggests that one of them could be a lack of sleep.
About the Study
Scientists have known that there is a connection between poor sleep and bad circulation. However, until recently, they didn’t know what made poor sleep affect circulation. The research was conducted by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder. The researchers took blood samples from 24 people between 44 and 62 years of age who were all in good health. The participants answered questions about their sleep habits. 12 of them said they slept from 7 to 8.5 hours per night. The other 12 only got 5 to 6.8 hours of sleep per night.
To find out how sleep habits impacted circulation, the scientists tested the level of a certain kind of molecule called micro RNA, or miRNA, in the participants’ blood. The level of miRNA in people who slept less than 7 hours each night was 40 to 60 percent lower than in people who slept more. Lack of these molecules can lead to cardiovascular disease.
Based on the study, getting more sleep can improve your aging relative’s circulation. However, there are other ways they can get their blood pumping more efficiently as well. Some things that can improve circulation are:
- Move More: Physical activity gets the heart pumping and moves blood through the body. Aerobic exercise is best, but even getting up to walk around for a while makes a difference.
- Quit Smoking: The nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products damages arteries and makes blood thicker, so it’s harder for it to move through blood vessels.
- Lower Blood Pressure: If your aging relative has high blood pressure, lowering it can protect circulation. High blood pressure can cause blood vessels to get harder and stiffer, a condition called arteriosclerosis.
- Stay Hydrated: Blood is comprised of about 50 percent water. Drinking more water helps keep blood moving.
If your older family member has problems with circulation, home care can help them to improve it. Home care providers can increase the senior’s physical activity throughout the day by taking them for short walks and encouraging them to participate in activities around the house. Home care providers can also assist with managing blood pressure by reminding seniors to take their medications.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider elderly care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.