The more we age, the less we sleep. It’s a simple fact of life but it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Contrary to popular opinion, senior citizens still need as much sleep as they did during their 20s and onwards. Yet they don’t get enough of it. Sleep disorders like insomnia are common and can lead to daytime sleepiness and difficulty concentrating. According to a poll, 44 percent of senior citizens experience symptoms of insomnia a few nights a week. There are other reasons for experiencing less sleep as well.

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Common Causes Of Less Sleep In Senior Citizens

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a painful condition of the joints and usually affects the spine, hands, knees, and hips. It afflicts 10 percent of men and 13 percent of women aged 60 years and above. It occurs when the cartilage cushioning the bones wears down. This pain can keep you from getting comfortable sleep and can wake you up at night.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is another condition that can interfere with sleep. It usually affects people aged 65 years and over. It occurs when the spaces between the vertebrae narrow and cause tingling, numbness, weakness and sometimes pain. These symptoms aren’t always present but when they are, they gradually worsen with time. They can disrupt your activities during the day and your ability to sleep at night.

Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder (ASPD)

Senior citizens are likely to have ASPD, which is a condition where people feel sleepy and go to bed very early, and wake up too early the next morning. They do enjoy good sleep but the change in sleep-wake cycles can prevent them from attending social engagements and adjusting well to night shifts.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

RLS can interfere with sleep as the urge to move one’s legs increases when trying to sleep or when relaxed. Up to 7-10 percent of Americans may have RLS although it’s more common in middle-aged and older adults. Women are also more likely to have it. If not controlled, RLS can lead to related problems like insomnia.

Sleep Apnea

American senior citizens are at a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) although only 8 percent have been tested for it. OSA can interfere with sleep by preventing air from properly entering and leaving the lungs. You may wake up with a headache and may experience daytime sleepiness the next day.

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Published on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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How The Right Mattress Can Help You Sleep Better

Sleep disorders are best dealt with by treating the underlying cause. However, you can also make changes in your sleeping environment to help you sleep better. A mattress designed to provide comfort and support can help with sleep issues you may be facing. Let’s see how it works.

Reduces Spinal Stenosis Discomfort

It’s always important to keep the spine naturally aligned when sleeping otherwise it can lead to back and neck pain. If you suffer from spinal stenosis, which typically occurs in the neck and lower back. Sleeping on the wrong mattress won’t do your body any favors. It will exacerbate the pain and prevent you from sleeping. A well-designed mattress, on the other hand, can reduce pain and encourage sleep by giving the adequate support needed for your spine to keep it naturally aligned.

Reduces Arthritis Pain

People with joint disorders like arthritis need a mattress that’s cushioned and able to conform to their shape to take the pressure off the painful parts of their body. At the same time, they need a mattress that’s supportive to prevent the spine from going out of alignment. The best option is a medium-firm mattress. It both cushions and supports and can make a huge difference in how well you sleep.

Provides Comfort To Sleep Apnea Sufferers

People with sleep apnea are usually advised to sleep on their sides as it prevents the tongue and soft palate from collapsing to the back of the throat. However, in order to do this, you need a good mattress to maintain your position, one that’s soft enough to cushion the shoulders and hips yet firm enough that you don’t sink into it. You can place pillows on your back to keep you from rolling over.

If your mattress is 8 years old or more, it’s time to replace it with one that’s designed for your needs. Nuvanna is a mattress created to promote better sleep. It’s the brainchild of an industry expert with more than 20 years of experience and delivers excellent comfort and support. It does this through its three-layer construction consisting of innovative materials. The first layer has phase-changing gel particles that prevent body heat from being trapped by dispersing it. The middle layer absorbs motion so that you and your partner can move freely without disturbing each other. The bottom features a Progressive Support System that keeps your body supported and aligned and prevents it from sinking in. What’s more, Nuvanna uses a TENCEL mattress cover that’s moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic.

The surest way to tackle sleep disorders in senior citizens is to find out what’s causing them and treat them. It could be as simple as your doctor changing medication or adjusting the dose. Or, it could be learning to manage health issues like osteoarthritis through exercise and physical therapy. Meanwhile, there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable and ready for sleep. Using a good mattress, leading an active lifestyle, and learning to relax as bedtime draws near can help sleep come more easily.