Karen Turner PHD | Elderly Sleeping Problems
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Elderly Sleeping Problems

Elderly Sleeping Problems

Elderly Problems: Insomnia

Elderly Problems: Insomnia

Psychological Articles on Elderly Problems

By Boomeryearbook.com

According to the Encarta Dictionary, insomnia is the “inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when this is a problem that continues over time,” and unfortunately this condition of sleeplessness is one of the most frequent elderly problems. Psychological articles tell us that it often results from sleep cycle changes that occur with aging as well as various other elderly psychological, emotional, and bodily changes. Most elderly patients are very light sleepers because their sleep cycle is shorter than that of a child’s or a young adult’s. The elderly problem of disrupted sleep often derives from the elderly person’s sleep being fitful and restless and, consequently, abruptly waking many times during the course of a night.

It is important to note that insomnia is generally not an exclusive elderly problem in and of itself. Insomnia is often linked with or caused by other elderly problems such as arthritis pain, emotional stress, etc. If a patient is in any kind of pain or distress, whether it be physical or emotional, it can be hard to sleep soundly. Generally, psychological articles say that the patient’s underlying symptoms should be the first course of treatment to see if that alleviates the insomnia. If initial symptom treatment fails and there is still no improvement in sleep then a patient may consider looking to other treatments or medications for help falling and staying asleep. However, there is a risk of dependency with many medical sleep aids. In addition, it is not a good idea for elderly patients to use over the counter medications such as antihistamines for sleeping aids as they tend to have negative side effects in elderly patients, possibly even leading or exacerbating the elderly problems of confusion and delirium.

There are additional things that aging baby boomers and the elderly can do to facilitate sleep. For instance, eliminating bedroom temperature climate problems can make a tremendous improvement in alleviating insomnia, so it is advisable to check to see that the temperature in the bedroom is just right and not too hot or too cold. Another tip is to establish a regular bedtime routine; this means readying for bed and turning off the lights for sleep at the same time every night. Psychological articles refer to this as good sleep hygiene as it helps set the body’s natural biological clock, telling your body it is sleepy as it gets close to the accustomed bed time. Also, avoid the use of too much alcohol, especially around bedtime as it can disrupt your sleep cycle by first making you sleepy and then as the boost of sugar hits your system, waking you up in the middle of the night. Lastly, avoid taking daytime naps, specifically multiple daytime naps because this will also make it harder to sleep at night.

Whatever, the cause or causes of your personal insomnia, it is should not be considered a typical elderly problem. It is not a normal sign of aging so do not write it off as one. Consider all of your sources and possible causes. If you are still unable to fix the problem with some simple changes, contact your physician to see what he or she might recommend. A good night’s sleep is essential to maintain proper body functioning and that goes for every single person, young or old.

The Psychological Article on The Elderly Problem of Insomnia is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of psychological articles on Elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.

Boomer Yearbook contains Psychological Articles for Baby Boomers. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join other Baby Boomers to stay informed, receive weekly Newsfeeds, and let your opinions be heard. Baby boomers changed the world. We’re not done yet!


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