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Combatting Sleep Issues among the Elderly

Many sleep experts agree that aging brings about natural changes within our sleep patterns. As we get older, we generally go to sleep earlier, and wake up early in the morning. The sleep we get when we are older is also often less deep, and can be interrupted by trips to the bathroom. It is also common for older people to get less sleep that is less restful because of underlying health conditions or stress.

Poor sleep can lead to other problems in your waking life, such as a short temper or irritability, poor physical health, or problems eating and maintaining a healthy diet. Combatting sleep issues in the elderly isn’t that difficult, however, and by taking a few positive steps you can get a more restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.

Do You Have an Underlying Medical Condition?

Poor quality sleep may seem like the problem you are suffering from, but it may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition that is going untreated.

Common health conditions in the elderly that can affect sleep are heat and lung conditions such as heart failure or obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease from excessive heart burn, and osteoarthritis that can cause pain in joints keeping you up at night.

If you have persistent trouble sleeping, you should consult a doctor to discuss any other symptoms you may have and what can be done to treat them and get you a better night’s sleep.

Do You Snore or Suffer from Sleep Apnea?

Snoring and sleep apnea are two sleeping disorders that millions of people suffer from, regardless of their age.

Having difficulty breathing while you sleep can reduce the amount of deep and restful sleep you experience, and lead to other health problems. Mouth strips are a great way to combat breathing problems while you sleep; they stop snoring and help with bad breath by regulating your breathing patterns and encouraging your body to breathe in through the nose instead of your mouth. Nose breathing helps by warming up the air before it reaches the lungs and encourages oxygen uptake.

Do You Suffer from Insomnia?

If you have difficulty getting to sleep, and maintain a restful sleep when you do, then you may be suffering from insomnia.

Insomnia is very common, particularly with the elderly population, and about a quarter of the population are suffering from insomnia at any given time. It is often caused by anxiety or depression, as well as fatigue or a worsening quality of life.

If you suffer from insomnia, try and keep a sleep diary to keep track of when you sleep and for how long. This can provide valuable information to health professionals that can help you come up with a better sleeping routine and regimen to help you get better sleep at night. 

Do You Experience Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) can cause itching, a crawling sensation, or restlessness when you are trying to get to sleep.

This is a poorly understood condition, but is thought to be related to the amount of iron and dopamine in the brain. There can be many causes, including anxiety and depression. If you think you suffer from RLS then you should find out more about it here, and think about consulting your doctor to see how they can help you treat it.

Sleep is an important part of a healthy life. If you are suffering from a lack of sleep, then you should consider consulting a medical professional that can help you identify underlying causes so you can enjoy a full, restful, and deep sleep.

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