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All Posts Tagged: insomnia

Breathing Stoppages of Sleep Apnea

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Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. Although it can affect people of all ages, it is very common among older adults. Sleep apnea often occurs when the airway is temporarily blocked by soft tissue due to relaxation of the muscles of the throat. This type of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can also be the result of abnormal signaling in the part of the brain responsible for breathing, causing momentary stoppage of breath. This type of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea, and is more common among people who have experienced heart disease or a stroke. The two types of sleep apnea may appear separately or in tandem.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder that can lead to complications, and exacerbate existing ailments and illnesses. It is a major culprit in insomnia, interrupting normal sleep and leading to daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and problems with memory and coordination, especially in older adults. Sleep apnea can also worsen cardiovascular disease and liver problems, and increases the likelihood of a stroke.

For people who suffer from sleep apnea, breathing stoppages can occur from five to 30 times every hour. Even when people with sleep apnea don’t remember the brief periods of wakefulness that accompany a cessation of breathing, these episode can severely compromise the quality and quantity of sleep. Additionally, the loud snoring that often accompanies sleep apnea can be very bothersome for bed partners, causing them to lose sleep and suffer from the symptoms of insomnia. Although not everyone who has sleep apnea snores, the snoring that goes along with frequent cessation of breath is one of its telltale signs. Often, a bed partner’s observation of snoring is the first thing that alerts sleep apnea sufferers to the problem.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for sleeping problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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Sleep Apnea

sleep apneaSleep apnea is a common disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during the night. One of the leading causes of snoring, sleep apnea isn’t just annoying – it can have serious health consequences. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the disorder, and is caused by airway blockage. This type of sleep apnea can affect anyone, although it is more common in overweight individuals. Another type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, which is caused by faulty signaling in the part of the brain that controls breathing. Many sleep apnea sufferers have a combination of both kinds.

Sleep apnea is often first detected through snoring, as the bed partners of sleep apnea sufferers are often kept up or wakened by snoring throughout the night. Although snoring in itself is problematic, it’s not the only reason to take sleep apnea seriously: left untreated, sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate heart problems, diabetes, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, and other ailments.

For older adults, a group among whom insomnia is particularly prevalent, sleep apnea can worsen the condition and further compromise sleep. Because high quality sleep is vital in retaining memory, motor function, coordination, and emotional health, it is especially important for seniors to address insomnia. One of the best ways to insure a good night’s sleep is to treat sleep apnea as soon as it is suspected, as well as exploring the root causes of the condition.

The first line of treatment for sleep apnea usually involves lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, weight-loss, and avoiding alcohol, muscle relaxers, and other drugs that may compromise the airway by relaxing the central nervous system. Mechanical treatments, such as special mouth appliances, pillows, and supports, can also be used. If these approaches don’t work, surgical intervention, or the use of special machines that keep the airway open by blowing pressurized air through a face mask, may be indicated.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for sleeping problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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Health Problems Related to Insomnia

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Insomnia is one of the leading complaints among older adults. Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, waking during the night, and waking up early in the morning and being unable to go back to sleep are all indications of insomnia. While everyone, regardless of age, needs to get adequate sleep, it can be more difficult for seniors to get the seven to nine hours of sleep necessary for optimal health. This can be due to a variety of factors. Underlying biological changes have a big impact on quality and quantity of sleep: as people age, the amount of time they spend in deep sleep relative to lighter sleep stages changes. Additionally, alterations in circadian rhythm (also known as the “biological clock”) often cause people to become sleepy earlier in the evening and wake earlier in the morning.

As well as the changes in physiology that accompany age, seniors suffer at higher rates from many illnesses and ailments that can cause or exacerbate insomnia. Breathing problems are often responsible for difficulty falling asleep, and for waking up in the middle of the night. Sleep apnea (the most common cause of snoring), asthma, or diseases like emphysema can all cause sleep troubles. Chronic pain due to diseases like arthritis can also keep sufferers up at night. Illnesses like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s often lead to insomnia, as do heart disease, kidney disease, and gastrointestinal problems, such as acid reflux.

Insomnia can often make the symptoms of illness worse. It can also interfere with everyday activities. People who suffer from poor sleep are more likely to experience car accidents, falls, and other mishaps. Poor sleep can also compromise memory and make communication more difficult. For people suffering from insomnia, everyday tasks like meal preparation, cleaning, and self-care can become difficult, as exhaustion makes even the simplest of tasks harder. For these reasons, it’s important to take insomnia seriously, and treat it proactively.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for sleeping problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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Insomnia in Senior Citizens

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For many older adults, sleep problems are a surprising feature of aging. Most people expect stiffness, aches and pains, and occasional forgetfulness as inevitable parts of growing older. However, the insomnia often experienced by seniors is less talked about. For a variety of reasons, people’s sleep schedules change over time. One reason for this is the aforementioned aches and pains: when you’re less comfortable physically, it can be much harder to get a good night’s sleep. Similarly, many ailments common to seniors can disrupt sleep. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other disorders can contribute to restless nights. The side effects of many medications can also induce sleeplessness.

In addition to illness and pain, most seniors experience a rewiring of their biological clocks, due to hormonal and other physiological changes that accompany age. Shorter periods of deep sleep, as well as earlier waking and daytime sleepiness, are often part of the package. Psychological factors, such as stress, can also be major contributors to insomnia.

Because of the biological changes and ailments that often accompany aging, many older adults feel the need to nap during the day. Short naps can be beneficial, allowing for a period of rest that leads to higher energy levels and a feeling of rejuvenation. However, napping can also compromise night-time sleep: if someone sleeps more during the day, it’s likely that they’ll have a harder time getting to sleep at night, even if they feel tired. In addition to daytime napping, nocturnal bathroom visits are a major culprit in insomnia for older adults. Waking to go to the bathroom can prove very disruptive to a normal sleep schedule, as many people find it difficult to go back to sleep afterwards. While there’s not much anyone can do about the basic physiological changes responsible for shifting periods of sleepiness and wakefulness, there are measures that older adults can take to lessen insomnia. Limiting napping during the day, reducing caffeine and alcohol intake (particularly later in the day), and avoiding drinking too many liquids in the evening can all be helpful steps to getting a better night’s sleep.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for sleeping problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

 

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Causes of Insomnia In The Elderly

shutterstock_210403513A good night’s sleep is essential at any age. Adequate sleep promotes immune-system health, improves daytime concentration and memory, and plays a vital role in repairing cellular damage. People who don’t get enough sleep often experience increased irritability, difficulty concentrating and performing everyday tasks, and lower quality of life. Despite its importance, sleep can sometimes be elusive, particularly for older adults. The natural changes in body chemistry that accompany aging can alter sleep patterns and make it more difficult to get the right amount of rest. Many older people find that they become sleepy earlier in the evening, wake up earlier in the morning, and experience sleepiness during the day. Although these changes are perfectly natural, they can interfere with normal sleep cycles.

            In addition to the natural physical changes of aging, older adults may experience sleep disturbances for a host of other reasons. Illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can interfere with sleep, as can conditions which cause chronic pain. The side-effects of many medications can also cause insomnia. One of the leading causes of sleep disturbances for people of all ages is particularly prevalent among older adults who may be experiencing major life changes: stress. Retirement or a major change in work responsibilities, a move to assisted living, or a decline in independence can all be extremely stressful events. Stress, in turn, can dramatically affect the quality and quantity of sleep.

It’s important for seniors to combat stress-related insomnia in order to enjoy good quality of life. Making simple lifestyle changes can help: exercise, spending time outdoors, and participating in hobbies and social activities can all reduce stress and lead to improved sleep. Insuring that the sleeping environment is comfortable and restful is also essential: bedrooms should be kept at a comfortable temperature and free of light and loud noises. Breathing exercises, meditation, and comforting rituals, such as a warm bath or time with a good book, can all help to relieve stress and ease the transition into sleep.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for general assistance. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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