How Insomnia Can Affect the Elderly and How to Combat It

August 20th, 2014 by John Wilson

Senior living habits can contribute to insomnia.

Learn how insomnia can negatively impact your senior living.

Lying in bed, wondering when you will fall asleep, can be a difficult problem for anyone. However, the elderly are more susceptible to this problem, with as many as 50 percent of individuals over the age of 60 affected. Not getting enough sleep can have many negative effects. Understanding how this lack of sleep can affect your overall health and increase the chances of needing living assistance, as well as what you can do to fight it, will ensure you get enough rest to stay healthy.

What Causes It?

Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors, especially among those using senior care services. Anxiety, depression and stress can make it difficult to shut down the brain and get the proper amount of rest. Your habits, such as smoking, drinking alcohol or even drinking caffeine, can make it difficult to fall asleep. For many aging people, everyday aches and pains may make it difficult to find a comfortable position for sleeping. Other people nap too much during the day, have a poor sleeping environment or try to go to bed too early. Looking at your daily habits can help you pinpoint a cause and resolve the issue.

How Does It Affect You?

Understanding the negative effects of insomnia will help you realize the importance of increasing the amount of sleep you get and can keep you from needing living assistance too early. Those who have difficulty getting enough sleep due to insomnia may experience:

Unfortunately, many seniors blame a lot of these symptoms on the typical signs of aging. However, this isn’t always the case. In many situations, finding ways to get more sleep eliminates these problems, leading to a reduced need for senior care services.

What Can You Do?

If you regularly experience insomnia, there are certain steps you can take to help you get a restful night’s sleep. For instance, dropping daytime naps may make you tired enough to fall asleep more quickly at night. You may also want to consider cutting out caffeine, tobacco products and alcohol. Taking a warm bath before bed and keeping a regular schedule can both be useful tools in developing healthier sleeping patterns. Even improving your diet by eating nutrient-rich fruits, complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats and drinking warm drinks can help.

As you get older, you naturally need less sleep, but insomnia can still be a serious problem. If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, it can lead to a number of problems, including a deterioration of your health and an increased need for living assistance. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the potential causes of your sleeping difficulties so you can resolve them and reduce your risks of health problems and accidents.

If you are looking for a reliable location for senior care services, contact us. Our assisted living facility in Oklahoma can provide the care your aging loved one needs.

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