These Sleep Disorders Can Occur with Aging
There are so many reasons why we all need a good night's sleep - whatever our age.
However, in older adults, ongoing sleep disorders can lead to much bigger problems such as irritability, low energy and an increased risk of falling.
What are the most common of these sleep disorders?
Older adults commonly experience the following:
- Obstructive sleep apnea - this is a brief interruption in breathing during sleep that occurs if the upper airway repeatedly becomes blocked. Such interruptions can keep occurring.
- Insomnia and restless sleep syndrome - half to three quarters of those over the age of sixty five will suffer from symptoms of insomnia.
- Periodic limb movement disorder - this is when there is involuntary movement of the limbs during sleep.
Unfortunately, sleep problems will increase with age with research concluding that some sixty three percent of those aged sixty years and over saying that such a disorder means they don't get a good night’s sleep - resulting in negative side effects.
When they add in doctor visits to try and help resolve their sleeping probems, unpleasant medications that might be prescribed and even stressful therapy that may have been suggested, they become frustrated.
Poor sleep posture might be the problem
Along with other reasons, poor sleep posture (especially when combined with stress) can cause back pain and tension headaches. The way you sleep can lead to poor airflow and even snoring.
Many sufferers actually sleep with a pillow that places their head too high or too low. It is important to find a way to ensure you straighten and support your spine in its natural position, reducing pain and improving sleep.
If the head and neck are aligned correctly, this can help to prevent airway compression. Do your own research to find the right pillow product for you, one that adjusts to your individual shape and gives you extra head and neck support.
One of the biggest mistakes people make with their sleeping arrangements is not giving enough thought to their posture and sleeping positions.
Other reasons for poor sleep quality
- Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. Mouth taping can mean improved sleeping habits. We all know how important a good night's sleep is, helping our bodies to rest, recover and recuperate - and to get rid of toxins. Breathing ensures a relaxation response while maintaining deep sleep and progressing through the stages of the sleep cycle. Our noses help us to maintain homeostasis by balancing the autonomic nervous system, protecting us from stress, anxiety and sleeplessness. We can wake up feeling stronger and more refreshed. Find out more about mouth taping here.
- Restless Leg Syndrome (as already mentioned) is a nervous system deficit that causes an overpowering urge to move your legs. It is commonly referred to as Willis-Ekbom disease. Doctors consider it to be a sleeping disorder, because it usually occurs at night and tends to disrupt the sleeping patterns of the person affected. Anyone can suffer from it, but it is more common in women and middle aged people. You can find out more about the Syndrome here.
- Being female. It is a well known phenomenon that men find it easier to fall asleep - and to stay asleep - than women do. And the difference becomes more marked as we grow older. Women suffer from insomnia at two to three times the rate that men do. Men, on the other hand, are twice as likely to have their slumber spoiled by sleep apnea, a chronic condition characterized by brief episodes of restricted breathing but this condition is not nearly as common as insomnia itself.
Add a few drops of our own H-Sleep Aid Formula either to your warm and soothing bedtime bath or to the back of the neck before settling down. This is a natural sleep remedy for mild to chronic sleeplessness.
What is insomnia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/inso#. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).
Insomnia fact sheet. WomensHealth.gov. http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/insomnia.html. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).
Sleep-wake disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).
Sleep disorders: The connection between sleep and mental health. National Alliance on Mental Health. http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Sleep-Disorders. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).
One Sleep Aid to try is H-