Q: As I get older, I find it harder and harder to fall and stay asleep. why is that?
A: Dr. Abhinav Singh, medical director of the Indiana Sleep Center and professor of sleep at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, likes to answer this question by analogy. said he. As it gets older and hits more miles it starts to fall apart. It will require more repairs and the ride will not be as smooth. The same thing happens with your sleep, Dr. Singh said.
Researchers have found that sleep quality rusts a bit with age. Reduce the amount of time you spend in restorative, deep sleep, which helps you feel better, Dr. Singh said.
In a landmark study published in 1995, when researchers surveyed more than 9,000 people over the age of 65, it was surprising that 57% of them reported at least one sleep disorder over the three-year period. not. These include difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, waking up too early, feeling anxious, and napping during the day. Qiang was revealed to have had one or two insomnia symptoms in the past month.
Research suggests that women, in general, are more likely to report poor sleep quality than men. And sleep begins early in life, usually during the menopausal transition (or in the years leading up to menopause). This usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55.
What exactly causes these changes?
The truth is that no one knows for sure. Luis de Lecea, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, said:
One explanation may have to do with the aging brain. was overstimulated and disrupted the sleep cycle. The change “likely happens in humans,” he said, because the part of the mouse brain that regulates sleep, called the hypothalamus, resembles that of humans. (For practical and ethical reasons, many sleep studies have been done in mice.) The researchers also found that the suprachiasmatic nucleus, another brain region that regulates the body’s circadian rhythms, is more active with age. I found that it degrades with a mouse. This causes sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep at normal times.
Certain lifestyle changes can also lead to sleep disorders later in life, says Adam Spira, a sleep researcher and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As you do, you lose your daily unstructured routine. If you wake up late or take a nap, you will fall into a vicious cycle that makes it difficult to fall asleep at night.
Researchers also found links between depression, loneliness, grief over the loss of a loved one, and sleep deprivation in older adults. , concluded that older adults who struggle with specific activities, such as meeting friends, taking walks, or household chores, were more likely to report insomnia symptoms than those who were able to participate. in those activities.
In women, common symptoms of the menopausal transition, such as increased rates of hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, and stress, are also correlated with sleep deprivation. But researchers still don’t know exactly why these menopausal symptoms become more severe and frequent in some women, and how best to deal with them.
Of course, certain medical conditions common in older people can also wreak havoc on sleep, Dr. Singh said. For example, gaining weight increases your risk of developing conditions like sleep apnea, which can make you feel like you’re snoring, gasping for breath, or choking during sleep. Medications, such as blood pressure diuretics, can also interfere with sleep by increasing trips to the bathroom. They can really “act like darts on your bunk,” Dr. Singh said.
Are sleepless nights the fate you have to live?
The good news is that the same habits that improve sleep in general can also work for older adults whose sleep patterns are changing, Spira said. Studies suggest that doing regular exercise, avoiding naps and late afternoon caffeine, following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly can all help you sleep. One small study found that doing at least 40 minutes of aerobic or resistance training four times a week helped older people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Maintaining a consistent mealtime each day also helps maintain a routine, which in turn helps regulate sleep, which helps keep melatonin production and the body’s circadian rhythms in check, Dr. Singh says. As well as being outdoors in the sun, it can help regulate sleep. He added that you should also check with your doctor to see if you have – This article was originally new york times