Changes occur as your parents start to age. One of the changes that they might experience is the change in their sleeping patterns. They might find themselves retiring to bed earlier than they usually do and waking up very early the next day. While this is a normal part of aging, there are some changes in an aging person’s sleeping pattern that is not considered normal. Are your parents always tired when they wake up in the morning? This is not a normal part of aging. To help your parents cope with this, don’t just hire caregiver services in Illinois or anywhere in Chicago, instead you also have to understand the connection between insomnia and aging.
Insomnia is a disorder that is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep and or remaining in slumber. It might also be the reason behind the abnormal changes in your parents’ sleeping patterns. To understand your parents better, you need to know the connection between aging and their change in sleeping patterns.
Change in Sleep Pattern and Aging
An elderly person’s change in sleeping patterns can be attributed to aging. As your parents age, their bodies’ production of growth hormones start to lower. This is the reason why your parents might experience a decrease in deep sleep. In result, less melatonin is produced by their bodies which mean that your parents will experience irregular sleeping patterns. Instead of sleeping peacefully, they might experience fitful rests and often will find themselves getting up in the middle of the night.
This change in their internal clock or circadian rhythm is also the reason why your parents are suddenly retiring to bed earlier than they used to and getting up very early in the morning the following day. It might also be the reason why your parents are suddenly taking naps in the middle of the day. Taking naps will help them get enough hours of sleep that their bodies need.
Insomnia and Aging
Sleep disorders are not related to aging, nor is it limited to older people. Everyone experiences sleeping problems at some point. If you are constantly experiencing difficulty falling asleep then it might be a sign that you have insomnia. However, it is not so easy to spot sleeping disorders on the elderly. Since aging brings about changes in an older person’s sleeping habits, they sometimes find it difficult to tell whether their sleeping troubles are caused by insomnia or not.
To help you and your parents overcome this problem, here are the list of insomnia’s symptoms that you should watch out for:
Normally, it doesn’t take too long to fall asleep, especially if you are really tired. If your parents spend half or quarter an hour trying to fall asleep, then it might be a sign that they have insomnia.
If your parents complain about feeling tired even after just waking up in the morning, then it’s a sign that they have a sleeping disorder. After sleeping, they should feel refreshed instead of fatigued.
You might notice that your parents are irritable during the day. They constantly feel tired and sleepy. Elderly people with insomnia will also have a difficult time concentrating during the day.
In some cases, depression and being emotional are also symptoms of insomnia.
It is important for you to be sensitive of the changes that your parents undergo as they age. If they are experiencing a change in their sleeping habits, it might affect their moods for the rest of the day. To help your parents, you have to know how aging can affect their sleeping patterns as well as the symptoms of sleeping disorders such as insomnia; if you can spot the signs early on, you can help your parents sleep better at night.