Many people believe that your sleep needs tend to decrease as you age, and in some respects, this happens to be true. Children need the most amount of sleep across the board, followed by teens. And then adults are on the lower end of the spectrum, starting in the late teens and early 20s.
But once you’ve reached adulthood, your sleep needs remain fairly consistent for the next decades to come. In addition, as you age, your risk for developing sleep-related conditions tends to increase, which in turn can affect other areas of your health.
So just because you’re getting a bit older and wiser, don’t ignore your sleeping habits! In fact, as you age, be more attentive to these common sleep conditions that tend to increase in risk as you get older.
Roughly 90 million Americans tend to snore at night. Yet snoring on its own isn’t necessarily a disorder or a sleeping-related medical condition.
But the problem is that snoring is a common indicator of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). And OSA can cause a myriad of other health issues common in older adults, such as heart disease, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s or dementia.
The trick when it comes to knowing whether your snoring is a legitimate problem is to look for the other signs.
If you tend to experience:
Chances are, you may have obstructive sleep apnea.
An at-home sleep apnea test will also be a very useful tool in determining whether your snoring is an indication of a deeper problem.
As it turns out, older adults wake up during the night more than any other demographic.
This is because as we age, our circadian rhythms tend to shift as well, which can cause people to feel sleepier earlier than usual in the day, and more alert and awake in the early morning hours.
Cutting back on sugar, caffeine, and other stimulators after noon can help alleviate this problem, and can help adults get their sleeping schedule back on track.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is becoming a frequently talked-about sleeping disorder, and researchers are discovering that the risk for developing this condition tends to increase with age.
Roughly 1 in 10 adults have RLS, which is marked by an unintentional twitching or jerking of limbs during the night. It may seem harmless on the surface, but RLS can also affect a number of other health conditions that are also common in older adults, such as high blood pressure, heart conditions, and anxiety or depression.
As such, this condition should always be taken seriously, and a doctor’s appointment is recommended at the first signs of trouble.
For a more in-depth look at these three sleep disorders, check out this past post.
As people get older, they may find their risks for a number of conditions start to tick up, and this includes a number of sleeping disorders.
But the good news is that all of the aforementioned conditions, (especially obstructive sleep apnea), can be easily treated with no discomfort or inconvenience.
So pay attention to your sleeping habits, especially if there are changes to the quality of your rest. If you stay vigilant, and seek help when needed, you’ll enjoy a good night’s rest for many years to come.
Not sure where to start with looking into these disorders? Contact us and we can help you take the right steps to getting back to better sleep!