Sleep is essential for all. A few hours of sound sleep will refresh your body and mind by keeping illnesses at bay. Rest is as necessary as food and exercise. Many people believe that older people need less sleep which is absolutely incorrect. Every individual needs between 7 to 9 hours of good sleep time irrespective of age. However, children younger than five years indeed require more sleep.
Many people suffer from severe illnesses like heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and other mental illness only due to a lack of adequate sleep. Men with sleep apnea are often confronted with sleep deprivation, and insomnia is also common amongst most older adults.
Why Do Some Older Adults Face Difficulty Getting Adequate Sleep?
There are many reasons for which some older adults have difficulty having a night of adequate sleep. Older adults often suffer from certain diseases which cause sleep deprivation. Some disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, problems moving anybody’s limbs, pulmonary embolism, etc.
Insomnia Amongst Older Adults
Insomnia causes a problem with falling asleep. If you have insomnia, it may take longer to fall asleep than average sleep time. Even sometimes, you may not be able to sleep the whole night. This problem is quite common amongst aged people. According to the National Sleep Foundation report, 46% of people between the ages of 65-74 have insomnia.
Insomnia may prevail for months or years. Many older adults fall into the trap of lack of sleep which leads to habits, and they start to take the help of medicine. Although medicine can help you for a short period, it is not a viable option for a more extended period. Usage of sleeping medicine may cause harm to your body and mind. Instead of taking medication, you should try to build healthy sleeping habits.
Sleep Apnea May Cause Sleep Deprivation
Sleep Apnea causes problems with breathing while asleep. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing may pause for a short time while sleeping. Although sleep apnea is not considered a severe disease, it may cause sleep deprivation, leading to other illnesses.
Some sleep apnea symptoms are:
- Snore loudly
- Feel headache in the morning after sleep
- Feel sleepy during the day
- The mouth becomes dry during sleep
Sleep apnea is also a common problem amongst most people. But, many of them are not aware of this problem. If any of the symptoms mentioned above is the same as yours, you should consult with a doctor. A doctor will inform you about the correct position for sleeping that clears the airways.
When the tongue becomes relaxed for a short period, airways narrow, and breathing stops temporarily, obstructive sleep apnea occurs.
Pulmonary embolism is a problem which causes blockage in arteries. Blood clots cause pulmonary embolism carried to the lungs from veins in some body parts. These blood clots obstruct the blood flow to the lungs.
Pulmonary embolism may cause sleep deprivation by causing difficulty breathing, acute chest pain, severe cough, etc. Since pulmonary is a serious illness, you should take medication by consulting a doctor.
Benefits of Sleep
Good sleep helps you to maintain a healthy life. Rest keeps you active and energised all the time, leading to increased productivity. You can get rid of many serious illnesses if you take adequate sleep regularly. Some of the significant benefits of taking good sleep have been mentioned below:
1. Boosts Your Immune System
When you take adequate sleep, your immune system improves and gets the capacity to fight against any organism that causes illness. In a study, it was found that those who sleep more than 7 hours regularly, that person gets the less chance of having a cold or flu. But those whose sleep time is less than 5 hours have a higher chance of getting cold and flu. When you become older, the immune system gets weaker. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to take care of your immune system when you reach an older age. Better sleep can always help you in this regard.
2. Increases Productivity
When you sleep properly, your brain can function effectively as it gets the required rest after the day-long hustle and bustle. Sleeping less than the required time makes you tired and hampers your daily activities, and sleep deprivation lowers your concentration, leading to low productivity and affecting your daily activities. Therefore, you should get adequate sleep to be productive and increase your concentration level.
3. Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
After 60 years of age, there is a high risk of diabetes; if you sleep less, that risk becomes higher. Because sleep affects the sugar level in your body, when your sleep time is less than required, you may get type 2 Diabetes. Because when you sleep less, your insulin hormone is not released correctly. To curb your sugar level in the body, you should sleep properly. In a study, 48% of people get the chance of diabetes sleeping fewer than 5 hours.
4. Improves Your Memory
During sleep time, your mind works on your memory. The mind helps to process and retrieve the memory of the day. Due to lack of sleep, you may have memory loss. During the deep stages of sleep, memories become stable. After that, REM, also known as the Rapid Eye Movement stage, becomes active and plays a crucial role in linking the memories related to each other. It has been found that memory loss is often associated with sleep deprivation.
5. Protects and Strengthens Your Heart
Inadequate sleep may increase the risk of heart disease. It was found in a study that 13% of people get the risk of heart disease who sleep less than 7 hours. Those who sleep less may have high blood pressure, which may cause a stroke. Due to lack of sleep, your body releases cortisol which triggers the heart to control the stress hormone. Like other body parts, your heart requires rest to work effectively and efficiently.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Adequate Sleep
You may have to face many troubles due to lack of sleep. If you want to keep your body and mind healthy, adequate sleep is necessary. If you do not sleep properly, you feel tired, which causes harm to your productivity.
Less sleep is also the reason for depression. Those with poor sleep habits have a higher chance of depression and anxiety, and those who have problems with insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea have a higher risk of getting depression. Therefore to maintain a healthy mental condition, you should develop a healthy sleeping pattern.
Less sleep causes heart attack and other heart diseases. When you do not sleep, your blood pressure becomes high and may cause a stroke.
Sleep is as essential as food and breathing. Without sleep, you cannot live. Bad sleeping habits may cause many mental and physical illnesses. If you feel difficulty while sleeping, you should consult with a physician. You may need to take medications or develop good sleeping habits. Nowadays, people often avoid maintaining healthy sleeping habits due to modernisation and face many serious illnesses. Always try to establish good sleeping habits and follow the advice of physicians.
How many hours of sleep for your age?
Those younger than five years old need 10 hours of sleep, those between 25 to 64 years of age need between 7 to 9 hours and those above 64 years of age need 7-8 hours of sleep.
How can I sleep instantly?
To sleep instantly, you should read books before bed. Avoid seeing the screens of TV or mobile at least one hour before going to sleep. Switch off all the lights and feel relaxed on the bed. However, blinking your eyes continuously for a few minutes also help you to fall asleep.
Why is sleep so important?
Without sleep, you cannot live. Sleep is as essential as food, and rest makes you feel relaxed and refreshed to work with more energy the next day. Healthy sleeping habits help you to maintain good physical and mental health.
What are the 5 benefits of sleep?
The five benefits of sleep are increasing productivity, helping you to boost immunity, lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes, keeping you energised all the time, enabling you to maintain good mental health and reducing the risk of depression.
How long can you go without sleep?
The longest time without sleep has been recorded as 264 hours. However, it is yet to confirm how long humans can survive without sleep. After spending 3 to 4 nights without sleep, you may start hallucinating. But no death has been reported so far due to sleep deprivation.
What happens if you sleep too much?
Sleeping too much may develop many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and anxiety. Due to excessive sleep, you become lethargic and lose productivity.
What is sleep explained?
Sleep is a natural activity in the mind and body. During sleep, our subconscious mind becomes active, and the conscious mind stops working. During sleep time, all the interaction in your surrounding is reduced, and other muscle activities are also reduced in the body.
What Triggers Sleep?
The pineal gland in the brain receives a signal from the suprachiasmatic nucleus and helps you sleep by producing melatonin hormone.