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There are plenty of myths circulating in our society that can increase the fear we feel about getting older. Fortunately, many of these myths aren’t true at all. Taking the time to explore a few of these misconceptions can help you feel better about reaching your senior years, allowing you to better enjoy this period in your life. Here are a few common myths about aging and the truth about them.

It’s Natural to Get Less Sleep

Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s okay if you’re no longer getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Your body does not need less sleep as you age. Your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep may be inhibited by changes in your health or lifestyle. Even a certain medication may be interfering with your ability to sleep soundly. If you have improved your bedding and sleep environment without seeing a positive change, consult your doctor about your sleeplessness.

Depression is Normal

If you feel depressed, you shouldn’t accept this as normal for you as you reach your senior years. In fact, depression is often a side effect of some medications or certain medical conditions. Even when a medical condition is the cause of your depression, you should talk to your doctor about it. They may be able to recommend a therapist who has experience in treating the type of depression that’s affecting you.

It’s Too Late to Quit Smoking

Older adults continue smoking because they feel the health damage is already done. In truth, you’ll begin experiencing positive changes in your health very soon after you quit smoking. Within the first few weeks, carbon monoxide levels in your blood will be lowered, reducing your risks for a heart attack or stroke. Blood flow will be improved, helping to maintain a healthier blood pressure. You’ll also breathe easier, and your risks for cancer and other respiratory illnesses will be significantly lowered.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the choices you make now will affect the quality of life you enjoy in your senior years. Eating a healthier diet, getting more exercise, and giving up bad habits can help you stay healthier for longer. When you want more specific advice and insight, consult your doctor about your health concerns.