Seniors Struggle to Get Deep Restorative Sleep

As you age, your sleep habits may shift. Many seniors struggle to get deep restorative sleep. This can lead to health consequences.  Fragmented sleep has been linked to a number of medical conditions, including dementia and depression. Poor sleep affects your memory and mental skills. Research shows that seniors tend to sleep lighter and for shorter spans. This means less time in REM sleep. This change is attributed to the aging process, but can also result from other health problems. Whatever the cause, disruptions in the sleep cycle may lead to insomnia for seniors.

Causes of Insomnia in Seniors

Insomnia may be a primary-but more often secondary-disorder stemming from some other health condition. It can also be triggered by medications, and in some cases, caused by sleeping habits or the sleep environment. Mistry cites the most common causes (in no particular order):

  • Stress and Anxiety: Work-related pressures, the death of a loved one, or other significant life changes that cause worry and distraction may affect sleep.
  • Poor Sleep Hygiene: Behaviors, pre-sleep habits, the bed or surrounding environment may not be optimal for sleep.
  • Irregular Sleep Schedule: Travel, jetlag, or erratic hours can throw off the body’s internal clock, responsible for telling the body when to sleep and wake.
  • Consumption of Stimulants: Coffee, nicotine or other stimulants consumed close to bedtime may induce a “wired” feeling.
  • Consumption of Alcohol: Alcohol has a sedating effect initially promoting sleep, but later inhibits REM and fragments sleep.

Finding and treating the underlying cause of the sleep disturbance in Seniors is critical to effective management. Senior Crossroads of Florida can help. You may not know much about geriatric care management and how it is performed. A professional geriatric care manager has been educated in various fields of human services.  Social work, psychology, nursing, gerontology are part of their education. They are trained to assess, plan, coordinate, monitor and provide services for the elderly and their families.

Advocacy for older adults is a primary function of the care manager. We belong to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and are certified by one of the three certification organizations for care management — the National Association of Social Workers, the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, or the Commission for Case Managers.

Senior Crossroads provides professional Care Management services to help you navigate the complex health and human services systems. We offer thorough and cost-effective answers to the difficult questions regarding the well-being of your loved one. We provide unsurpassed problem-solving, resource expertise, and health advocacy. Let us provide you with clear options that will assist you in making critical decisions. We work proactively to keep our clients as healthy, safe, and independent as possible.

For information in the Sarasota area, contact Senior Cross Roads at 941-921-0776.