You are not alone if you are having a problem sleeping. According to the National Sleep Foundation more than 50 percent of Americans have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep. The reason for some concern is that too little sleep can compromise the immune system and that becomes more of an issue as you get older.
One reason you may be sleeping less is age-related. Along with the physical changes that occur as you get older, your changing sleep patterns are also a normal part of aging. As people get older they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than they did when they were younger. The amount of sleep you need, however, does not decline with age. What may be keeping you up is a change in your sleep patterns.
Sleep occurs in multiple stages including dreamless periods of light and deep sleep and occasional periods of active dreaming (REM sleep). The sleep cycle is repeated several times during the nigh although the total amount of sleep remains the same. It appears, however, that older people spend more time in the lighter stages of sleep than in deep sleep.
Your biological clock may also be changing. You may be getting sleepy earlier , nodding off at 8 pm in front of the TV and then wake up before dawn. That can lead to napping during the day and you become used to sleeping in bits and pieces.
This pattern is called advance sleep phase syndrome. Yes, it actually has a name.
The sleep rhythm is shifted forward so that 7 or 8 hours of sleep are still obtained but you may be waking up very early because you went to bed early. Some researchers say this may have to do with light exposure and treatment options for advance sleep phase syndrome typically include bright light therapy.
Another possible reason for lack of sleep is that as we age we have more chronic diseases which cause pain and may interfere with sleep. Conditions such as heart burn, high blood pressure, a bad back, arthritis, can all lead to interrupted sleep.
It is worth talking to your doctor about your sleep concerns and about any symptoms they may have. Your doctor can tell you if you have a serious problem. She may also tell you to stop drinking coffee in the afternoon and to give up napping during the day so you can get a good night's rest. Insomnia can impact other health issues such as diabetes
Sleep apnea, in which airways become blocked during sleep, awaking the sleeper many times during the night is another reason why you may be tired during the day. This is a condition that often causes daytime sleepiness.
Let us know what you do so you can get a good night's sleep. What tricks will you share with us? Scroll down to Comments and type them in the blank envelope.
To your successful aging,
Ruthan Brodsky helps business owners and professionals promote their business or profession with content and information products.