Do you have difficulties falling asleep at night? Generally, older adults get easily tired in the evening and have difficulty falling into a deep sleep. With changes in your lifestyle and sleeping patterns, insomnia and other sleep problems could potentially arise as you age. Sleep deprivation may result in health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or obesity. Fortunately, if you can pinpoint the cause of your lack of sleep, treatment can be arranged to mitigate the situation. Below are some possible causes of insomnia in the elderly.
Consumption of Stimulants
You may be tempted to have a cup of coffee to stay awake, but did you know that such products might keep you up at night? Drinking coffee, cola, tea, and other beverages containing caffeine in the afternoon or evening should be avoided. Another stimulant that you might not be aware of is nicotine, which is usually found in tobacco products like cigarettes. If you are one of those who rely on alcohol to fall asleep, you should know that it prevents deep sleep and may even cause you to wake up suddenly at night.
Sometimes, insomnia can happen due to underlying medical conditions, where the main symptoms are not sleep-related. Some common health issues that you might experience as you age include mood disorders, depression, urinary problems, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and heart conditions. Your sleep troubles may be contributed by such problems. Treating your medical problems can typically improve the quality of your sleep. It can also be beneficial to consult with a pharmacist about your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications to ensure that they are not causing insomnia.
Poor Lifestyle Habits
Disruption in your sleep can also be caused by choices in your lifestyle. From healthy sleeping habits to maintaining a regular schedule, you may realize that taking preemptive measures in your day-to-day is necessary to ensure you get to sleep enough. Having an inconsistent bedtime routine can cause insomnia, on top of habits like indulging in naps throughout the day or working in your bed. Using your computer, smartphones, and even using your smartphone can also disrupt your body’s ability to prepare for sleep. Stress, anxiety, or depression might also keep you awake at night.
Sleep disorders could cause insomnia as it affects the way people breathe while sleeping. One example is sleep apnea where you may experience breathing pauses caused by obstructions in the respiratory passageways. This can produce recurrent episodes of short awakening from sleep and lead to daytime sleepiness. Controlling sleep apnea effectively by providing constant airway pressure can result in more regulated sleep time and a significant increase in daytime functioning.
Having a balanced diet and engaging in plenty of physical activities is just as crucial as managing a healthy sleep schedule for your health. Falling prone to insomnia can deeply affect you on a mental and physical level. If you find yourself losing sleep too often, be sure to identify the cause so that you can take steps to alleviate the condition before it dampers your health.