Early to bed….so what if you find yourself a victim of aging insomnia? Still awake or awake again an hour and a half after getting into bed? Honestly, I find just as many of my friends complaining about poor quality of sleep as complaining about rising healthcare costs. Below is a brief overview of facts about sleep and a couple of new providers added to my list of resources which may help you with your specific situation.
Some facts about aging and sleep
From the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:
- Children and adolescents need more sleep than adults. Interestingly, older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults — seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
- A study of adults over 65 found that 13 percent of men and 36 percent of women take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep.
- Older adults may produce and secrete less melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. They may also be more sensitive to — and may awaken because of — changes in their environment, such as noise.
Common health conditions that can disrupt sleep in older adults
- Heart and lung conditions which affect breathing, such as heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which causes heartburn symptoms and can be affected by big meals late at night
- Painful conditions, including osteoarthritis
- Urinary problems that cause urination at night; this can be caused by an enlarged prostate or an overactive bladder
- Mood problems such as depression and anxiety
- Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Medication side-effects
Tuck.com is a fabulous resource for those of us who struggle with getting quality sleep. Tuck “strives to bring you the most comprehensive and unbiased sleep health and product information on the web today and your readership and use of Tuck helps to fund those efforts.”
Better Health While Aging: BetterHealthWhileAging.net (formerly GeriatricsForCaregivers.net) is a mission-driven health and caregiving information site. They provide practical, actionable information for older adults and family caregivers, grounded in what geriatricians believe to be optimal healthcare for older adults. (Wondering if you are a caregiver? Click here.)