Sleep Disorders Can Ruin Lifestyle for Seniors
Seniors with sleep disorders can suffer from health problems and drastic changes in lifestyle. They can also be deadly when they interfere with driving and other focus-related accidents. Seniors with sleep disorders often complain of lack of energy and depression. Unless changes occur and good sleep patterns are regained, lifestyles can be ruined.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that you’ve probably heard about. It’s been in the news as Michael Jackson’s downfall and listed as one of the leading causes of tiredness and depression. In senior citizens, it can be caused by stress, certain medications, too much alcohol and caffeine or an overactive bladder that makes you feel like a jack-in-the-box at night. Drastic lifestyle changes may be in order to help treat this malady.
Restless Leg Syndrome is another sleep disorder that can have a negative impact on seniors’ lifestyles. This disorder can cause a tingling sensation and need to move the legs to get relief keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. Although it’s more common among people over 60, it can develop in younger people who may have diabetes or anemia. RLS might be treated with drugs such as those used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Narcolepsy affects a great majority of seniors, and the symptoms can be very embarrassing. Narcolepsy might cause ìsleep attacksî during the day or even when driving a car making the disorder very dangerous as well as embarrassing. If you’re diagnosed with Narcolepsy, your health care provider might prescribe antidepressants or another drug that can control the symptoms.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that’s dangerous to your health. It can cause you to stop breathing for several minutes per night, several times a night. Your spouse or significant other might tell you that you’re also snoring loudly and interrupting their sleep. The causes of sleep apnea include excess weight or blockages in your nasal passages anything that obstructs the oxygen supply to your body.
If you suspect sleep apnea, ask your health care provider about a ìsleep study,î and if you’re diagnosed with the disorder, you need to know that you may be at risk for heart problems, strokes and high blood pressure. You may need to lose weight or use an apparatus known as a CPAP a mask that’s worn at night and helps the air flow through your nasal passages. If you have an airway blockage, you may need surgery to remove it.
Leg cramps are common in people over 60. Proper diet and exercises can help relieve leg cramps, but if you’ve tried everything — talk to your doctor about another kind of treatment and perhaps a medication that will help relax leg muscles.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep and the impact that sleep loss has have on your life. We need sleep as much as we need food and water, and if we don’t get enough sleep it can affect our bodies and minds as much as a bad diet can affect our health. Do everything you can to seek help if you have trouble sleeping.