ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Seniors and Sleep

Updated on April 6, 2017
Sleep, especially for adults over 65 is a key ingredient to a happy an healthy daily life!
Sleep, especially for adults over 65 is a key ingredient to a happy an healthy daily life! | Source

Equal Sleep for Everyone!

Remember when you were 20 and could pull an all-nighter studying, working, getting chores done, or partying with friends? As we age, the stamina to carry on through our day when we don’t get enough Zs wanes. In seniors, the problems with sleep deprivation can be even more exacerbated for a number of reasons; medications, sun downers syndrome, and pain related to illness or injury can keep aging adults up at night and have serious implications. Adults over the age of 65 need just as much sleep as younger adults – about 7 to 9 hours a night. But many seniors get less, or much more sleep than they need. Here is what some common sleep problems are, the causes, and some possible solutions to ensure you or your loved ones gets a healthy amount of sleep each night:

1) Too Little Sleep

The Culprits: Could be the same problems ailing younger, sleep-deprived adults such as insomnia or sleep apnea. For seniors though, a common culprit can also be chronic pain, such as achy bones due to arthritis.

Some solutions: Talk to your doctor if you have pain that keeps you up at night. They may be able to prescribe you with nighttime painkillers to help you sleep through the night. If you have trouble falling asleep due to insomnia or delayed sleep phase (you can fall and stay asleep, but your sleep pattern starts at a very late hour, such as 2 or 3 in the morning) that interferes with your schedule, you can try over-the-counter solutions or have a doctor prescribe you with sleep aids. Like with any medicine, follow your doctors’ orders and be mindful of the dosage you are supposed to take.

2) Napping Too Much

The Culprits: Like with the above scenario, not getting enough sleep at night can lead us, if we have the time, to take a much-needed nap during the day. Catching a nap is a great idea for seniors to recharge their batteries and keep them energized throughout the day. It becomes a problem when most of their day is taken up with sleeping. Sleeping a lot throughout the day is common with some medical conditions like dementia, but can lead seniors to sleeping through mealtimes and trips to the bathroom.

Some solutions: Set aside 1-2 hours for your nap if you take one, and set an alarm for when you are supposed to get up. Better yet, schedule an activity you love to do right after your nap so you can look forward to walking up after a short rest.

If your loved one has dementia: Talk to their doctor about the best way to handle the situation. It often depends on the stage and type of dementia, and the individual.

3) Drowsy Medicine

The Culprits: Medicine with side effects such as drowsiness. These medications can range from sleep aids mentioned above to anti-psychotics

Some Solutions: First, always remember to NEVER go off a prescribed medication without consulting your doctor first! Ask your doctor if you or your senior can take drowsy medication only at night to aid in sleep. If not, ask if there is a similar medication that won’t make you or your senior drowsy during the day.


4) Feeling Blue all the time

The Culprit: Depression can cause your sleep cycle to go out of whack. Depression is not just sadness; it is characterized by a loss of interest in activities, feeling “low” – “down” feelings, lower energy than usual, and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Some solutions: Depressions is a serious medical condition and needs treatment. Treatment can range from getting more exercise and eating more nutritious food to professional counselling and medication. Talk to a doctor about seeking treatment for any mental illness. However, note that many seniors are from a generation where getting psychiatric help was frowned upon and getting this much-needed help was seen as shameful rather than normal and healthy. Remind yourself (if you’re from this generation) or your senior that it’s OK to seek help, and we’ve learned better than to ignore mental and emotional unhealthiness as time has gone on. Would you ignore it and try to “tough it out” if you had pneumonia? Why would you for Depression?


5) Undiscovered Health Issues

The Culprit: Could be serious, such as an oncoming heart attack or a stroke.

Sone solutions: If all else fails, if you have tried everything else, look into seeing a specialist or getting tested for undiscovered health problems such as irregular heartbeat or an oncoming health catastrophe. Sleep can tell you a lot about your health, so if you are having unresolved sleep problems, talk to your doctor about what else could be going on.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)