Are you getting enough sleep?

In order to determine whether you have a problem with sleep, it is necessary to ask yourself about the quality of your time awake. If you are getting less sleep than when you were younger, but still feel rested and energetic during the day, it might just be that you now need less sleep. Every persons sleep needs are different. However, if you are noticing that your lack of sleep is affecting your daytime activities, you should find the cause of your sleeplessness and take a step(s) to get better rest. Consult a doctor if you have concerns about your sleeping patterns.

Facts about sleep and old age.

 As we get older, our sleep patterns change. In general, older people sleep less, they experience more fragmented sleep, and spend less time in deep sleep, and REM sleep, than younger people. The risk of sleep apnea increases in old age (particularly in women) and affects not just sleep but also the heart and brain.

More than half of men and women over the age of 65 years complain of at least one sleep problem. Many older people experience insomnia and other sleep difficulties. However, good night sleep is essential to our physical health and emotional well-being. 

General changes in sleep patterns caused by aging include:

Health conditions may negatively affect sleep quality and quantity 
Daytime naps may interfere with a good night sleep 
More disrupted night-time sleep 

Common causes of sleep disorder in older people.

Factors to our inability to sleep are:

Poor sleep habits-  Irregular sleep-wake patterns, daytime napping, consumption of alcohol before bedtime and increased wakeful time in bed.

Medical illness- Certain chronic medical conditions such as Alzheimers disease, heart failure, blood pressure, heartburn, menopause and etc.

Medicines- Certain medicine may stimulate wakefulness at night and some medicine might impair a persons ability to fall asleep.

Psychological distress- Depression is twice as common in old age compared to young adults,  life changes such as the death of 
          a loved one, moving from a family home, physical limitations due to illness.
Sleep disorders - Sleep apnea, Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), Restless leg syndrome (RLS), REM behavior disorder.

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