Many people think that as people age, they require less sleep. However, this is absolutely not true. Almost all adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night to be able to function properly and keep their health in top-notch shape. You don’t need to overlook the importance of sleep just because you’re growing old. One of the common reasons nowadays for people struggling to sleep is anxiety and if you also suffer from anxiety, you can get the Mela blanket for £120 that is engineered to cope with the feeling of restlessness which hinders people from getting deep sleep at night.
You may have noticed that a newborn sleeps most of their day, whereas teenagers require less sleep as compared to them. As they reach adulthood, they are able to function efficiently just by catching seven to eight hours of sleep. However, older people, mostly aged above 60, find it really hard to go into a deep sleep for even seven hours as their quality of sleep drops.
How Does Sleep Changes in Older People?
Older people struggle with sleeping properly at night due to several reasons. For instance, they need to go to the bathroom quite frequently at nighttime or they face trouble nodding off quickly. Most of them even have a tendency to sleep early in the evening and wake up early in the morning.
In addition to this, they aren’t able to get a deep sleep i.e., they easily wake up with even the slightest disturbance. This prevents them from getting a satisfying sleep, which makes them feel irritated, drowsy, and lethargic during the daytime.
What Causes Sleep to Change as You Age?
As people age, they are affected by a variety of factors that cause them to suffer from sleep deprivation.
As women age, their reproductive hormones change greatly as compared to men and therefore women have to face more problems with sleeping than men. Even women who are pregnant undergo changes in their hormones that restrict them from having a deep sleep, such as snoring or heartburn. They also aren’t comfortable in their sleeping position.
Whereas, when they grow older, they enter the stage of menopause which causes their hormone levels to decline drastically, and they have to deal with symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, and even insomnia.
According to a report, it has been concluded that women overall tend to have more issues with sleep than men.
Change in Body’s Sleep-Wake Cycle
Our circadian rhythm controls the sleep-wake cycle of our body. It tells the brain when to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. This influences when people feel sleepier or more alert during the entire day.
Adolescents’ circadian rhythm is trained to stay up later and wake up later, while on the other hand, older people’s sleep-wake cycle makes them sleep in the early evening which forces them to wake pretty early in the morning.
This makes them feel drowsy and drained during the entire day and leads them to take naps during the afternoon.
If insomnia is in your genetics, it’s going to cause more trouble as you get older. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get treatment for insomnia from a doctor and live a healthy life.
If it has been more than a month since you have not slept properly, it’s important to get the underlying issue diagnosed by a professional and get it cured as soon as possible.
As the health of older people deteriorates, this gives rise to several health conditions. This adversely affects their quality of sleep and results in insomnia. Most elderly people suffer from arthritis which causes joint pain and makes it harder for them to get a good quality of sleep.
The elderly also suffer from several heart diseases such as high blood pressure which keeps them up due to difficulties in their breathing or fluctuation in heart rate. Other health conditions like diabetes cause them to take several trips to the bathroom.
In addition to this, it’s also important to consider older people are more susceptible to adverse mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, which play a vital role in the quality of their sleep.
Measures to Help You Sleep
People who have a healthy lifestyle face fewer challenges regarding their sleep down the line. Therefore, you should try to work out daily and expose yourself to sunlight for at least two hours a day as it helps to produce melatonin in your body which regulates your sleep-wake cycle.
If you take certain medications that disrupt your sleep at night or make you sleepier during the day, it’s best to talk to your doctor and ask if they can make some changes. You should also consider cutting down on caffeine and nicotine, especially three hours before getting in bed.