Sleep and Growing Older
Sleep deprivation in older adults is similar to that in younger adults, and it can lead to a variety of issues, including a lower quality of life. If you’re having trouble sleeping, see your doctor or a sleep specialist; there are treatments that can help.
Sleep disorders can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Sleep-disordered breathing, such as snoring and sleep apnea, is one of the most common disorders in older people. Insomnia and restless legs syndrome are the most common sleep disorders among older adults.
Short-term insomnia, lasting less than one month, is considered chronic insomnia. Prostate enlargement in men and continence problems in women are often the causes. As people age, their sleeping and waking patterns tend to change. Drinking more alcohol or caffeine can keep them from falling asleep or staying asleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when air entering from the nose or mouth is partially or completely blocked, usually due to obesity or extra tissue in the back of the throat and mouth. Snoring is more common in older people and those who are overweight.
Restless legs syndrome affects more than 20% of people aged 80 and up, while periodic limb movement disorder, or PLMD, causes people to jerk and kick their legs every 20 to 40 seconds while sleeping.
Getting Help for Your Sleep
If you’re frequently tired during the day and don’t feel like you get enough sleep, talk to your doctor about it. Many primary care providers can diagnose sleep disorders and offer treatment options, and if more information is needed, your doctor may refer you to a sleep center for testing.
Treatments for Sleep Disorders
The most effective and popular treatment for sleep apnea is nasal continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. Some experts believe medications can also be helpful early in circadian rhythm treatment. If you have a mild case of sleep apnea, a dental device or oral appliance may be helpful.
How many hours should seniors sleep?
While sleep patterns change with age, adults 65 and older still require between 7-8 hours of sleep per night, ideally over a long period of time, according to the panel.
How much sleep is too much sleep for an elderly person?
Adults (18-64) should sleep for 7-9 hours, while older adults (65+) should sleep for 7-8 hours.
Can an elderly person sleep too much?
Excessive daytime sleep in the elderly, however, can indicate impaired nighttime breathing and other sleep disorders, and recent studies have linked excessive sleep to cognitive impairment in the elderly, so it’s a sign you shouldn’t dismiss.
What time do 70 year olds go to bed?
According to a new study published in Healthy Aging and Clinical Care in the Elderly, more than half of all retired people 65 and older report sleeping at least 7.5 hours per night, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., contradicting popular belief that most elderly people sleep at night.
Should seniors take naps?
The new study suggests that an afternoon nap of around 1 hour is ideal for improving cognitive functioning among older adults. Previous research has suggested that napping can improve cognitive performance for older adults, while other research has indicated that daytime napping can improve memory by fivefold.
What helps seniors sleep better?
- Take a warm bath
- the drop in body temperature when you get out of the tub may help you feel tired.
- Calm down before turning off the lights.
- Make the bedroom a sleep zone.
- Avoid afternoon naps.
- Drink less fluids at night.
How often should an elderly person bathe?
Bathing once or twice a week helps most seniors avoid skin breakdown and infections, and using warm washcloths to wipe armpits, groins, genitals, feet, and any skin folds in between full baths also helps minimize body odor. However, some dementia caregivers say it’s actually easier to bathe every day.
Why do the elderly not sleep at night?
Other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome; other medical conditions, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, diabetes, or respiratory diseases; mental illness, such as depression and anxiety; and lifestyle habits, such as napping or lack of physical activity.
Why do the elderly sleep with their mouth open?
People who have sleep apnea often have trouble getting as much oxygen as their bodies require while sleeping, so they open their mouth as a reflex to try to breathe in more oxygen.
What causes excessive tiredness in elderly?
Untreated pain and diseases like fibromyalgia. Anemia. Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
What causes elderly to sleep all the time?
SDB, circadian rhythm disturbances, RLS/PLMS, RBD, depression and other psychiatric disorders, medical illness, and medications are all potential causes of significant sleep changes in most adults. Diagnosis requires a good sleep history and, in some cases, a sleep study.
How do you know when an elderly person is giving up?
The following are signs that the body is actively shutting down:
- Weak pulse.
- Changes in consciousness, sudden outbursts, unresponsiveness.
- Noisy breathing.
- Glassy eyes.
- Cold extremities.
- Purple, gray, pale, or blotchy skin on knees, feet, and hands.
- Weak pulse.
Is it OK to take a 2 hour nap everyday?
Napping for more than half an hour during the day has been linked to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, according to a study published in April 2016. Napping for more than 60 minutes per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50%, according to the study.
What foods should seniors avoid?
Here are eight foods that you should limit (or avoid entirely) as you get older, and why:
- Eggs, meat, and poultry that are raw or undercooked.
- High-sodium foods.
- Sodas and sugary drinks.
- U201cSugar-freeu201d drinks.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Foods with empty calories.