Does Losing Sleep Pose a Danger for Aging Adults?

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t’s important for seniors to get adequate sleep because the body needs to engage in various functions that aren’t addressed when awake. Without restful sleep, these functions aren’t performed properly, which can lead to a host of physical, mental, and emotional complications. Here’s some information to help families understand the causes of sleep deprivation, why it’s dangerous for seniors, and what can be done to prevent it. 


What Causes Elderly Insomnia?

Stress is one of the most common causes of sleep deprivation in elderly people. Many seniors experience ongoing anxiety due to their finances and health, but many other factors can affect a senior’s sleep, including chronic pain, an irregular schedule, and the consumption of stimulants, prescription painkillers, or alcohol. 


What Are the Dangers of Chronic Sleep Deprivation?

Many age-related health conditions can be exacerbated by a lack of restorative sleep. Seniors who don’t get enough sleep each night have much higher rates of dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. Insomnia can also impact the immune system, which increases the risk of catching dangerous illnesses such as bacterial pneumonia and influenza. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional in-home care. Arlington families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.


Have Natural Treatments & Lifestyle Changes Proven Effective?

Seniors can combat sleep deprivation by making a few lifestyle changes, which includes limiting the consumption of both stimulants and depressants. It’s also important to have regular nighttime routines that mentally and physically prepare them for bed. Certain daily habits, such as taking a quick bath as the sun goes down, have been shown to naturally promote circadian rhythm adaptation. Seniors who continue to have difficulty sleeping after making lifestyle changes may need to consider professional help. 

Many seniors can get better rest at night by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elder care. Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.


Can Professional Treatment Help?

To find out if he or she has a sleep disorder, your loved one can take an overnight test conducted at a sleep facility. During these tests, specialists monitor everything from physical movements to brain waves. With the data they obtain, they can then come up with a comprehensive treatment plan for your loved one. The use of sleeping aids might be a short-term option, but medication can cause dependency when used over a long period. Combining comprehensive lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and behavioral therapy is generally considered an effective way to treat insomnia. 

Lack of sleep can lead to a wide variety of medical conditions for aging adults. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Arlington families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today.