Hormones, stress, and changes in sleep cycles after you retire can wreak havoc with your sleep patterns, making you feel groggy and ineffective during the day and preventing you from getting enough sleep at night.
If you’re having problems with your sleep patterns, it may help to know how they can affect you and how you can overcome those caused by aging. During the nighttime hours, you usually experience both light and deep sleep. Dreaming (REM) sleep is also part of the cycle and can occur many times.
As you age, your sleep patterns change, and you may find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Wakening during the night is a common problem and can be caused by changing physical patterns or the inability to shut off the thinking process.
Seniors average awakening during the night as many as three or four times. Need to urinate, discomfort in bed, or a chronic disease which makes it difficult to maintain sleep could be the culprits.
As you age, you may get enough sleep in terms of time, but you don’t feel like it because it wasn’t good quality sleep. This type of sleep deprivation can cause seniors to become depressed or develop a chronic health condition and should be addressed before it gets that far.
Many think that sleep problems are a part of aging, and seniors may not mention it to their healthcare providers. Unfortunately, changes in your sleep patterns as you age can cause side effects that you don’t want to happen.
Depression, congestive heart failure, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), and sleep apnea can wreak havoc on the elderly’s sleep patterns. Medications are available to help most of these chronic conditions.
Unfortunately, medications are sometimes a cause, rather than a cure, for recurring sleep disorders. Some may cause restless leg syndrome (the urge to move your legs when trying to relax), and those medications used for arthritis could interfere with normal sleep patterns.
Explore ways to develop healthy sleep patterns as you age and seek methods to help you relax other than medication. Environment and lifestyle play important parts in how well you sleep at night.
Also, keep active during the day. When you go to bed after a day of activities or work, you tend to sleep better than if you had no stimulation at all. Also, maintain contact with friends and family. An active social life can help you relax much more during the nighttime hours.