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Sleep and Aging

Together with the physical alterations that happen as we grow old, changes to our sleeping patterns become part of the usual aging progress. As people age, there are various difficulties in falling and staying asleep as compared to when people were younger. This is a general misunderstanding that sleep needs minimizes with age.

Together with the physical alterations that happen as we grow old, changes to our sleeping patterns become part of the usual aging progress. As people age, there are various difficulties in falling and staying asleep as compared to when people were younger. This is a general misunderstanding that sleep needs minimizes with age. Hence there is need for aging people to use a pressure mattress which ensures they sleep more comfortably and may assist in restricting and treating pressure sores.

Studies show that the needs for our sleep are constant within the entire adulthood. But what keeps the seniors awake? This is caused by alterations in sleep patterns in what specialists refer as “sleep architecture”. The changes happen as we grow old and can cause sleeping problems. Sleep happens in various stages which include: dreamless eras of “light and deep” sleep and occasional times of active-dreaming (REM sleep). The sleeping cycle is repeated various times during night and the whole sleep time usually remains constant. However, older people normally spend extra time in lighter levels of sleep.

Majority of older adults are not content with sleep and in other times they may become tired during the day. Studies show there is a time increase to fall asleep (sleep-latency), entire decline REM sleep and sleep fragmentation increase (waking up at night) with age (for more on this click here). The occurrence of sleep disorders likewise tends to go up with age. Nevertheless, research proposes that most of the disturbance in sleep within the elderly is attributed to psychiatric and physical illnesses and medications utilized in treating them.

Apart from modifications in sleep-architecture that happens with age, circadian rhythms is another issue affecting sleep and coordinates with the timing for our bodily operations. For instance, older people are sleepier during early evening and tend to wake earlier during morning as compared to younger-adults. This pattern is referred to as Advanced-Sleep Phase Syndrome. Hence the rhythm of sleep is taken forward obtaining 7 or 8 hrs of sleep although individuals wake up a bit early as a result of sleeping early. However, the purpose for these alterations in circadian rhythms and sleep as we grow old is not well understood. Majority of researchers believe it is caused by treatment options and light exposure for advanced-sleep phase syndrome that normally involve bright light therapy.

The insomnia prevalence is also greater among older adults. Recent research shows that older people encounter one or more symptoms of night time insomnia at least some days every week. Insomnia can be chronic, lasting for a month or acute covering some days or weeks. It is usually associated with underlying causes like psychiatric or medical condition. It is advisable to communicate with your doctor concerning insomnia symptoms and any other effects that the symptoms can have. You can get assistance from your doctor in order to evaluate how critical a problem is and steps to take concerning the same. For instance, reducing napping and caffeine can assist in solving the problem. On the other hand, snoring is the major source of sleep disruption with many adults. People suffering from insomnia can suffer from unnecessary daytime sleepiness, difficulty in concentration and a significant reduction in life quality.

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