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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Battling Sleep Changes as we age..

As we age, we often experience normal changes in our sleeping patterns. But disturbed sleep, waking up tired every day, and other symptoms of insomnia are not a normal part of aging. Why does sleep change as we age and what is normalω
It’s important for caregivers to understand that even the healthiest seniors find that their sleep habits change. At any age, insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, but for adults over the age of 65 even more so. In fact, one out of every four senior adults reports symptoms of poor sleep. And while a good many seniors may feel like insomniacs, some of the symptoms that they experience are because in reality, as we age we don’t ‘sleep like we used to.’
What are some of the normal sleep changes that seniors experienceω For one, aging adults feel sleepy earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. Changes in our circadian rhythm, the internal body clock that regulates sleep and waking, are responsible for this change in sleep pattern called advanced sleep phase syndrome. Also quite normally, the older we get the more likely we are to become ‘light sleepers.’ Physiologically, our aging bodies produce lower levels of the growth hormone melatonin which is the cause for a decrease in deep sleep. Not only do we spend less time in deeper sleep cycles, but we spend less time sleeping on the whole – about half an hour less on average. Healthy older people tend to awake during the night, too, so that on any given night, an older person sleeps 15 percent less than someone younger. And it generally takes longer for seniors to fall asleep. To read the rest of this article and more like it, please click HERE. or go to
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