Sleep and Aging

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Sleep to your Health

As we get older many changes happen to our body, both physically in appearance and durability and mentally in our memory and our sleeping patterns.sleep

The older people get, the harder it is to not only fall asleep, but to stay asleep once they do. Although some may think that as we get older we need less sleep, the truth is that people need to have consistent sleep throughout adulthood.

There are different stages of sleep in the sleeping cycle beginning with light dreamless stage and venturing into a deep sleep where active dreaming can occur. These stages of sleep continue during the night as you sleep, but as you get older, you tend to stay in the lighter sleep stage a lot more. This causes you to wake up and still feel very tired and stay tired in the middle of the day.

It also takes older adults a lot longer to fall asleep and once they do it takes away deep sleep time which can cause you to wake up in the night and feel tired the next day.

There are numerous sleep disorders that are more prone to older adults that can seriously affect the amount of sleep they get. One such disorder is called “advanced sleep phase syndrome” in which they become tired and fall asleep very early in the evening and wake up much earlier than everyone else. They get the same hours of sleep but the sleep is not as good and once in the cycle it is hard to break. Exposure to light makes it harder to fall asleep and therapy for this syndrome typically involves light therapy to help keep them awake a bit later and get their sleeping schedule back to normal.

Insomnia is very high among older adults and can be extremely detrimental for your health. The 2003 Sleep in America poll by the NSF showed that nearly half of older adults have symptoms of insomnia. The loss of sleep caused by insomnia can make life very complicated as well. People who experience it can go without sleep for up to a week or more if they do not have any treatment for it.

If you feel that you may be having any symptoms relating to sleeping disorders it might be worth it to speak with your doctor to find out more information and your doctor can make a sound assessment to determine if there is a problem or not. If you can’t get through to your doctor and would like some immediate information please visit us at mdhomehealth.com.