Sleep & Aging
Elderly women who suffer from sleep apnea -- characterized by disrupted breathing and sleep and a reduction in the intake of oxygen -- are about twice as likely to develop dementia in the next five years as those without the condition, according to a multi-center study led by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.
50 percent of middle-aged and older adults complain of chronic insomnia symptoms. A recent study by Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University found that millions of these adults may get some relieve from aerobic exercise.
As the U.S. population grays, more people will face new responsibilities caring for aging parents and their changing sleep needs. As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. Older people may also become sleepier in the early evening and wake earlier in the morning compared to younger adults.
Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles found that many residents of assisted living facilities experience poor sleep which appears to correlate with lower quality of life, difficulty in carrying out daily activities, and more episodes of depression.
Many of us view old age as a time to relax and enjoy our families and not having to worry about the stress of being in the workforce. According to researchers, we can now add getting plenty of sleep to the list of things we could enjoy if we live past our retirement age.
Maintaining daily routines may be the key to reducing the rate of insomnia and improving quality of sleep in older adults living in a retirement community according to a new study being reported in the journal SLEEP.
Humans are living longer than at anytime in our history. Understanding what it takes to age well is important. Consumer Report's guide to healthy aging listed sleeping well as one of ten steps we should be taking towards aging well.
Who needs more sleep – younger adults or older adults? A good night's sleep is essential to good health regardless of age, but those in good health tend to sleep at least 20 minutes less than those that are not. A recent study in the journal SLEEP found that adults free of sleep disorders and other serious health problems need less sleep than young adults. The study also confirmed that although older adults wake up more at night, good overall health would not require that they take a nap during the day.
Heat can have a negative effect on your sleep. Research suggests that a hot sleeping environment leads to more wake time and lighter sleep at night. In general, sleep scientists recommend keeping your room slightly cool. However, opinions about what constitutes as "hot" and "cold" vary because everyone is different. In fact, a recent column in the New York Times suggests that conventional wisdom about body temperature — that the average is 98.6 degrees — might be all wrong.
You might be getting more sleep than you think. Elderly women who reported shorter and poorer quality of sleep actually had longer and less-fragmented sleep than elderly men.