As we get older, our bodies change and can cause us to develop sleep problems. These changes in our bodies can affect how we sleep or even if we wake up rested or not. Some of these causes are illness or medical conditions requiring medication. Side effects of a variety of medications can cause sleep problems too. The National Sleep Foundation poll data shows that 24% of people over 65 who have four or more medical conditions also indicates that 80% of them have reported sleep problems. Depression and anxiety can cause sleep problems in both older and younger people.
5 Sleep Problems
The Tuck Sleep Foundation, a non-profit community for advancing better sleep, recently reached out to ask me to help educate older people and their families about sleep problems of our aging population, specifically insomnia. They asked that I include a link on my Senior Links page to their Sleep and Aging – Senior Sleep Guide. Their email request stated that 50% of people in the US over the age of 65 experience insomnia. In addition to identifying insomnia, the Tuck Senior Sleep Guide also identifies four other conditions that cause sleep problems.
- Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
If you have any of the problems listed above, you will want to read through their Senior Sleep Guide and learn about these problems and their causes. There is a section on Sleep Aids for Seniors, such as medications, the effects, and warnings. The guide cautions that “You should always consult your physician before taking any type of sleep aid for the first time.” It’s important to understand the side effects and dependency risks about medications you take as a sleep aid. In addition to that, talking with your physician will ensure that any sleep medication will not interfere with prescriptions you’re currently taking for other medical conditions. It’s essential to have all the information needed to achieve informed choices about medications to prevent negative reactions and side effects.
“Sleep Hygiene and Health for Seniors”
This section of the Tuck Senior Sleep Guide offers strategies that are useful to improve your sleep. These are simple ideas to do immediately to begin getting a good night’s sleep. Educate yourself about sleep and find options to improving it.
In addition, the last section of the Senior Sleep Guide provides a list of Additional Sleep Resources for Senior Citizens. Their list includes forums and support groups for people with insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and other sleep problems. It also lists the results of studies and other resource guides that are useful for seniors.
Do you want to improve the quality of your sleep? If so, click the tab “Senior Links” above to locate the link Sleep & Aging for access to the Tuck Senior Sleep Guide. If improving the quality of sleep is important to you, do it now.