Archive for June, 2015


Sleep Problems in the Elderly

Sleep disorders become more common as we get older. We start to receive less than 8 hours of sleep and suffer with a lot of restlessness. We also start having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, sleep talking, sleep walking, sleep apnea, or bed wetting. This is caused by our natural clock, the circadian rhythm, being disrupted and changing our sleep and wake patterns. Sleep disorders can also be caused by certain medications, caffeine or alcohol, allergies, pain, being inactive, psychiatric disorders, or by chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, these issues can lead to more detrimental illnesses, such as increased heart problems (especially in people with Alzheimer’s), aggravation of epilepsy, and more severe depression. However, there are ways to improve one’s sleep patterns in order to avoid these health issues in the future. Antidepressants and sleep medications, such as Lunesta, Sonata, and Ambien, may seem to be a plausible answer to all your sleep problems. However, they can have more harmful side effects than good—such as heartburn, headaches, gas, mental impairment, stomach pain, parasomnias, becoming dependent on the pill, and more which can lead to serious health problems over time.

By simply avoiding caffeine and alcohol, exercising, having a set sleep routine, elimination of loud noises and lights, and avoiding naps and large meals before going to bed could contribute in better sleep patterns. You can also receive treatment from medical clinics if necessary. Click on the links below to see more causes of sleep disorders, how it can affect you, and how to avoid these issues for your future betterment!

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/understanding-the-side-effects-of-sleeping-pills
http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems
http://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/0501/p2551.html

By: Roshni Jain