Insomnia in Older Adults

Insomnia is a prevalent condition worldwide, affecting people of all ages. But while a lot of research gives information about insomnia in children and adults, there doesn’t always seem to be as much discussion over the effects of insomnia in older adults. If you deal with daytime drowsiness and constant fatigue, you might be at risk no matter what age you are.

Insomnia in Older Adults

Below, our sleep doctor in NYC will bring up some important points about insomnia and highlight the symptoms and signs to look out for when dealing with insomnia. Sleep health is something that can only get worse the longer you put off its care.

How Sleep Changes As You Age

Did you know that the quality and style of your sleep change as you get older? Many people feel that they become more restless over time, and are more prone to waking up throughout the night. This is because your sleep patterns will shift over the years. While normal sleep cycles include two NREM sleep stages and two REM sleep stages, aging sleep cycles may only go through one of each stage. This means you will wake up a lot more without feeling rested.

While part of this is a natural part of aging, there are still several things you can do to ensure you stay in good health. It’s important to understand that aging and insomnia are often related, and you often do not see one without the other.

Know the Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia can stem from a lot of different conditions, especially in an aging body. The most common causes of insomnia include:

  • Major changes to your sleep schedule such as traveling or hospitalization
  • Genes; there is research to show that insomnia is hereditary
  • Anxiety, depression, or other mental health changes
  • Stress, especially related to major life events like loss or a big move
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Medications for asthma or high blood pressure
  • Menopause or PMS symptoms

There are unfortunately more risk factors for insomnia in older folks than in younger ones. Those with long-term illnesses or overall declining health are also at a big risk of having an interruption in their sleep cycle.

How Insomnia Affects Long-Term Health

You may not think that waking up throughout the night is a big deal. It happens to everyone, right?

It may happen a lot, but that doesn’t mean it is a good thing. The more tired you are throughout the day, the more difficult it is for you to be able to accomplish regular tasks. You will feel too exhausted, you won’t be able to focus, and you may even get more irritable than usual.

Perhaps you are staying awake because of another underlying condition that is preventing you from being able to sleep. If you are in constant pain or discomfort, it is imperative for you to visit your medical specialist right away.

Best Treatments for Insomnia

You can determine the best treatment for your insomnia symptoms when you visit a certified sleep specialist. Certain types of insomnia may not require treatment, as relieving the causes of insomnia (such as anxiety or stress) can help insomnia disappear on its own. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills to help your body get the rest it deserves. It’s important to engage in a lifestyle that will allow you to prioritize rest and relaxation.

Get Your Sleep Back on Track ASAP

Visit us today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our sleep specialist. We can customize your care plan to determine the best type of insomnia treatment in NYC that works for you. Your sleep is too important to ignore; change your habits now and promote a long life of good health!

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