Aging Seniors More Susceptible To Sleep Deprivation

Aging seniors, 65 years and older, say they experience at least one sleep problem. Insomnia and sleep disorders are, indeed, more prevalent among senior citizens.

In general, older people sleep less, wake up and go back to sleep more often, and spend less time in REM sleep compared to younger people.

 

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Aging: Causes of Sleep Problems In The Elderly

Here are several reasons that cause sleep problems in the elderly:

If you don’t keep a steady schedule for going to bed and waking up, it can affect your body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) and make it even harder to get good sleep. Also, at any age, if you nap too much, or stay in bed when you’re not sleeping, that will cause insomnia.

 

Medications: Some drugs make it harder to fall or stay asleep, or even stimulate you to stay awake. If you think that might be true for you, ask your doctor to check. Seniors are especially vulnerable to the side effects of drug interactions.Stress. Aging brings many life changes. Some are positive. Others are really hard. When you lose someone you love, move from your family home, or have a condition that changes your life, that can cause stress, which can hamper your sleep. Chronic illness is also a contributor.

Sleep disorders: Besides insomnia, these include apnea, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, and REM behavior disorder.

Too much downtime. Many people stay active well into their golden years. But if your days are too idle, you may find it harder to get good sleep. Keep as busy as possible with a variety of activities.

 

Aging: Get Enough Sleep

If you have noticed that your lack of sleep affects you during the day, there are steps you can take to get better rest. Many are simple tweaks to your daily routine, like setting a regular bedtime, being more active, and reducing stress.

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