This article was originally published on Tuck.com
Sleep and Aging – Senior Sleep Guide
As we age, most of us will experience bodily changes that affect how we sleep. These changes often become more pronounced later in life, and the effects may be influenced by chronic illness or the side effects of prescription medication. As a result, sleep problems and disorders are relatively common among seniors. Epidemiological self-report studies suggest that many older adults sleep seven hours or less, which might be health-compromising to some degree. A survey of adults over the age of 65 by the National Institutes of Health also found that 13% of men and 28% of women require more than 30 minutes to fall asleep.
All sleep disorders fall under one of two general categories. Dyssomnias refer to any condition that either causes severe drowsiness or affects one’s ability to fall or stay asleep; examples of dyssomnia include insomnia and sleep apnea. Parasomnias, on the other hand, are disorders characterized by inappropriate or irregular behaviors that occur during sleep, such as sleepwalking and night terrors. This article will discuss some of the most common dyssomnia and parasomnia disorders among elderly people, as well as other health-related factors that may impact their quality of sleep and some of the most common treatment methods.
First, let’s discuss the most common dyssomnia disorder among older men and women: insomnia.