Sleep as you grow older

PAIN: Many other medical conditions can cause pain that interferes with sleep.Conditions that cause pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Headache
  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Other health problems, such as lunch or heart conditions, can also cause problems sleeping.Speak with your health care provider if you think that you may have a medical condition that isaffecting your sleep.

    SLEEP DISORDERS

    Some sleep disorders are more common in older adults.

    Restless Legs Syndrome: Restless Legs Syndrome, or RLS, happens when you have an overwhelming urge to move your legs. You may also feel burning or itching inside your legs.Symptoms usually occur in the evening or before bed. RLS can make it hard for you to go to sleep, and you may be tired the next day.

    NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP MAY LEAD TO MEMORY PROBLEMS.

    Insomnia: Insomonia is a sleep disorder that occurs when you consistently have trouble falling
    asleep or staying asleep. Older adults with insomnia may wake up early in the morning and be unable to fall back asleep.

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, occurs when your airway collapses part or all of the way while you are sleeping.

    Signs of OSA include:

    • Loud or frequent snoring
    • Daytime sleepiness or tiredness, even after a full night’s sleep
    • Choking or gasping while you sleep

    CHECK OUT THESE COMMON PROBLEM AREAS

    ALCOHOL: Do not use alcohol to help yourself sleep. It might help you fall asleep, but it makes it more likely you will wake up during the night or have nightmares.

    SLEEPING PILLS: They can leave you feeling tired the next day. Also, they may cause you to take more naps during the day, which makes it harder fory ou to sleep at night.

    MEDICATIONS: Many medications may affect your ability to fall and stay asleep or your sleep quality. Examples include beta blockers and over the counter pain medications.

    WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY SLEEP?

    GET SOME EXERCISE: Sometimes people can’t fall asleep because they didn’t get enough activity during the day. Ask your health care provider before beginning a new exercise program.

    TAKE A SHORT NAP
    : Short naps during the day may be a good addition to nighttime sleep. Do not nap for longer than 1 hour or in the late afternoon, or you may have problems sleeping at night.

    CHANGE YOUR SLEEP HABITS: Don’t force yourself to stay in bed until the time you think you should get up. Get out of bed when you wake up, and don’t get back into bed until you are ready to sleep for the night.