Why Do We Have Problems With Sleep As We Grow Older?
Sleep is an essential part of human life. It is in fact true that we all look forward to restful sleep all through the night. However, not all people are lucky to enjoy a good night’s sleep. The problem is more prevalent for senior citizens who will always complain about the amount of sleep they are able to get.
It is not unusual to hear our parents and other elderly people complain of the failure to fall asleep despite all conditions. No matter how sleep deprived and tired a person may be, sleep always proves to be elusive.
The most common complaints are sleeplessness (insomnia), restless sleep, and tiredness all through the day.
The amount of sleep we need and get gradually decreases with age. Other reasons old people will not sleep adequately may include the habit of taking several naps during the day. It is recommended that no sleep problems irrespective of cause should be ignored.
Research now shows that sleep is an important factor which remains constant all through life. There are several factors which make old people more prone to sleep disorders.
The incidence of medical conditions increases with age. The most common problems are heart problems, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, menopause and hormonal changes in women, and respiratory problems. These problems interfere with sleep patterns in elderly people.
Changes in sleeping patterns
Sleep patterns in human beings have different stages which start from light sleep, REM sleep to deep sleep. This sleep pattern is repeated time and again throughout the night. Research indicates that sleep patterns in older people are altered with the majority of their sleep centred in the light stage of sleep. This best explains why people will wake up to the slightest disturbance in the night.
Changes in circadian rhythm
Circadian rhythm changes, also referred to as advanced sleep phase syndrome, come about with age. The result of the changes is that the elderly feel sleepy in the evening and will wake up very early in the morning. The cause of the changes in circadian rhythm is not well understood.
Snoring is a major sleep problem in adults. The problem grows worse with age. Snoring is most often associated with obstructive sleep apnoea. OSA alters breathing during sleep causing episodes of wakefulness and a drop in oxygen levels in blood. OSA is also responsible for tiredness during the day.
If you may have any sleep problems, it is important to visit a doctor who will prescribe treatment and therapy based on your age and health status.
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Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS
Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.
The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.
Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.
The Somnowell mandibular advancement appliance is also recommended by:
- Sleep Centres
- ENT Surgeons, Sleep Physicians, Respiratory, Physicians
- Orthodontists, Dentists
- General Medical Practitioners