Aging with Sleep Disorders

Some changes in our sleep patterns is a normal part of the aging process. However, there are several other factors that can contribute to a lack of sleep in older adults. Side effects from medications, illness, lifestyle changes or the death of a spouse can all contribute to sleep issues.

Read on to learn more about sleep disorders and where to get the best insomnia treatment in New York.

A Decrease in Quality of Life

A continual lack of sleep for anyone can begin to wreak havoc on the body and the central nervous system. For older adults, sleep disorders can cause a significant decrease in the quality of life. A lack of energy throughout the day, sleepiness during the day, and in severe cases, confusion, lack of concentration ,and inability or deficient performance in regular everyday tasks are all common sleep disorder symptoms that may arise.

As we age, the most common sleep disorder most Americans deal with is insomnia, not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. It sometimes takes older adults longer to fall asleep than it did when they were younger. Most older people get the same or close to the same amount of sleep they did in their younger years, but because it takes them longer to fall asleep, they must spend more time in bed to get that sleep. And because older adults don’t get quality sleep at night, they frequently take naps during the day because they are sleepy, but this is not a normal part of the aging process and can perpetuate the cycle of insomnia.

REM Sleep and Aging

People with normal sleep patterns enjoy what is known as REM or rapid eye movement sleep. In this sleep stage, muscles relax almost completely, and this is where dreams occur. Those with sleep disorders typically have non-REM sleep which is divided into three stages. Stages one and two are defined as light sleep and stage three is referred to as deep sleep. Sleep experts have found that the duration of REM sleep decreases with age.

As explained above, older people become less efficient sleepers due to numerous factors like medication side effects or illness. As we age, the duration of REM sleep can decrease, and the duration of stage one sleep can increase. People 90 years of age or older may no longer be able to enjoy stage three sleep at all. For most older adults, stage three sleep can decrease but this is especially true for men. However, among older adults, women are more likely to suffer from insomnia than men. And this is especially true for those older adults living in a residential care facility where it might be noisy during the night and some find it difficult to stay asleep.

Dealing with Sleep Issues

Insomnia or any other sleep disorder, is difficult to deal with at any age. A consistent lack of sleep can cause a myriad of other health issues or make existing symptoms worse. If you are in New York and suffer from insomnia, Dr. Shukla is standing by to answer any questions you may have at Sleep MD NYC.

If you find yourself waking up frequently in the night and struggling with daytime sleepiness, you might suffer from a more serious sleep disorder. If you think you might have a more serious sleep issue, contact the doctors at Sleep MD NYC for a consultation and the best insomnia treatment in New York. Don’t let poor sleep habits or a more serious health issue keep you from getting the rest you need.

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