How will sleep changes when people get older?

Sleep

As you have aged, you may have noticed that you have developed problems sleeping.

You may have thought,” Having trouble sleeping is just part of getting older.”

THIS IS FALSE!

Some health changes are a normal part of growing older, but difficulty sleeping may be a sign that you have a sleep disorder or other health problem.

HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT CAN CAUSE DIFFICULTY SLEEPING

- DEPRESSION:

Problems sleeping are a common sign of depression. Some people wake up in the early morning and can’t fall back asleep, and others sleep more than usual.

Sign of depression include:

  • lacking interest in or not enjoying activities that usually make you happy
  • loss of appetite
  • withdrawing from other people
  • feeling like you have no energy and are worn out

 

SLEEP DISORDERS

Some sleep disorders are more common in older adults.

 

RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME:

Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, happens when you have an overwhelming urge to move your legs. You may also feel burning or itching inside your legs. Symptoms usually occur in the evening or before bed. RLS can make it hard for you to go to sleep, and you may be tired the next day.

 

- INSOMNIA:

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that occurs when you consistently have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Older adults with insomnia may wake up early in the morning and be unable to fall back sleep.

 

- OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA:

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, occurs when your airway collapses part or all of the way while you are sleeping.

Sign of OSA include:

  • loud or frequent snoring
  • Daytime sleepiness or tiredness, even after a full night’s sleep
  • Choking or gasping while you sleep

 

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