Sleep Disorders
in Elderly Populations

Sleep disorders in elderly populations can be a big problem. Getting sufficient sleep is crucial to overall health.

Not getting enough sleep can result in a laundry list of problems. Your mood may be affected. You may be more irritable and less able to tolerate daily stresses. Your focus will not be as keen and reflexes will not be as fast which can contribute to accidents.

Your ability or lack of ability to get sufficient quality sleep can affect your entire life. Sleep and aging can prove a problem when you have sleep disorders.

Insomnia

This is the main sleep complaint when it comes to sleeping. It's characterized by an inability to fall asleep. It may also include waking up frequently or waking up earlier than intended and not feeling refreshed by sleep.

Insomnia can have many causes. The causes of insomnia may include but are not limited to stress, jet lag, medications, frequent urination, alcohol intake, caffeine, and inconsistent sleep schedules.

The treatment for insomnia can be based on medications, or it may necessitate lifestyle changes. It all depends on what is causing the insomnia in the first place.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by the cessation of breathing multiple times through the night. The severity varies from one person to another, but when you stop breathing it can't be good. Snoring, especially loud snoring, is often indicative sleep disorders in elderly people.

Sleep apnea does not just keep you from getting restful sleep. It can also increase your chances of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.

The causes of sleep apnea may include excess weight and deformities or abnormalities in the breathing passages. Diagnosis relies on a sleep history and possibly a sleep study to determine exactly what happens while you sleep.

The treatment for sleep apnea ranges from lifestyle changes such as weight loss to the use of a CPAP machine to help to normalize your breathing patterns throughout the night. In some cases, an obstruction will exist in the breathing passages, and surgery may be a necessary step.

Sleep disorders in the elderly include insomnia and sleep apnea. Both need to be dealt with because both can seriously impact your quality of life. Sleep is not a luxury. It's a necessity for good health. You need it to function and problems such as sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Sleep is serious business.

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