Sleep disorders are, unfortunately, very common. Many individuals struggle with various sleep disturbances. Insomnia is one sleep disorder that affects people on a regular basis. Sadly, this problem impacts the daily lives of individuals all over the world, from different walks of life and within various age groups. Since insomnia affects so many different types of people, older adults are not exempt. In fact, many seniors deal with the effects of insomnia every single day.
There are many different causes of insomnia in elderly adults. They vary from case to case. But, if you have an older loved one, it can be helpful to understand why and how insomnia may be affecting him or her. Sleep disorders like this often produce negative effects and cause many changes in an individual’s life. So, as someone who cares for an older individual who is suffering from insomnia, it’s important to be aware of how the disorder is impacting your aging family member.
An Explanation of Insomnia
As we have mentioned, insomnia is a type of sleep disorder. It is characterized by constant and persistent problems falling or remaining asleep. Basically, those who are dealing with this disorder often have trouble sleeping soundly. Some struggle to fall asleep while others have difficulty staying asleep throughout the night. They may wake up several times after initially falling asleep. In many cases, those who have this disorder will feel dissatisfied with their sleep once they wake up. Even if they were able to fall asleep throughout the night, they may not feel rested at all the next day.
There are a few different types of insomnia. Each one has its own characteristics, including duration and effects. Two kinds of insomnia include:
- Acute Insomnia: Most likely, you have experienced this before. Most people suffer from sleeplessness as a result of a situation or circumstance they are going through. For example, a person may experience a case of acute insomnia before traveling or beginning a new job. Normally, once the cause of the stress ceases to affect the person, the insomnia also leaves.
- Chronic Insomnia: This kind of insomnia is recurring. It continues to impact a person, regardless of the presence of a stressor. In other words, this kind of insomnia is not really brought on by circumstantial stress. It’s a little more complex than acute insomnia. Chronic insomnia can be caused by things like stress, medication use and lifestyle changes.
The Causes of Insomnia in Elderly Adults
We’ve identified some of the reasons why people struggle with acute and chronic insomnia. But, let’s talk a little more specifically about the causes of insomnia in elderly adults. Older individuals may deal with insomnia for different reasons than younger people.
Many aging individuals deal with sleep problems. Not every older individual experiences chronic insomnia but many of them do. Some of the common causes of insomnia in elderly adults include:
- Alcohol use
- Lack of comfort
- Excessive napping
- Respiratory problems
- Medication side effects
- Abnormal or irregular schedule
Insomnia can cause problems in your loved one’s daily life. Sometimes, it causes people to struggle with sleepiness and tiredness throughout the day. It can also cause a lack of concentration and focus. Many suffer from a loss of energy and motivation as a result of insomnia. Other effects of this sleep disorder include irritability, agitation, tension headaches and a lack of coordination.
Providing Care for Your Aging Loved Ones
If an older individual in your family is struggling with insomnia, another sleep disorder, or has other medical needs, it’s important to make sure they get the help they need as soon as possible. Companionship and general care services just may help to improve your loved one’s life and give them more motivation and energy. It can help to eliminate loneliness and anxiety, which are common causes of insomnia in elderly individuals.
Here at Florida First Senior Home Care, we connect families with compassionate caregivers who can help to provide the care that aging individuals need. For more information about our services, please contact us by leaving us a message or calling 561-279-5470. Let us help you find the best care for your aging loved one today!