Sep 30, 2017 by Larry Morgan
Sleep is a vital component to maintaining a high quality of life, regardless of your age. Unfortunately, seniors are especially vulnerable to developing sleeping disorders for a variety of reasons. Seniors don’t get as much deep sleep as younger people do anyways, so disorders and other health issues can compound preexisting problems.
Here’s the breakdown on senior sleep problems and how to combat them:
Signs of Sleep Disorders
If your senior suffers from one or more of the following symptoms, they may have a sleeping disorder:
Things That May Keep Your Senior Awake
Health issues, as well as the medications taken to treat said health issues, may be partially responsible for both their lack of and poor quality of sleep. Some examples include:
It Could Be Biological
There is also scientific evidence out there that the physiological changes seniors experience may contribute to sleep problems.
One theory suggests that as we age, our bodies produce less melatonin, the hormone that is released in our brain to help us sleep.
Another issue involves the body’s circadian rhythm, which is like our body’s internal clock to keep us on track with the time of day. A shift in this can make seniors more tired at inappropriate times of the day, and wide awake at night when they should be sleeping. This is also why many seniors tend to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.
Additionally, many of the elderly suffer from insomnia, which could be due to some underlying health problem, either physical or neurological. Not sleeping enough can add up over time to the point where it begins affecting their quality of life.
Tips to Make Your Elderly Loved One Sleepy
Though it is true that the elderly don’t need as much sleep as younger people, they still do need sleep (and quality sleep, at that).
If they’re struggling to get a good night’s rest or have a sleep disorder, here are some tips for helping them fall and stay asleep:
These tips can help your senior (and you) get a better night’s rest. If you have more questions or are concerned they may have a medical sleeping disorder, talk to their doctor or a geriatric specialist.