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6 Common Sleeping Disorders Among Seniors

According to Sacramento in-home caregivers, senior adults require seven to nine hours of sleep each night, not unlike other age groups. However, various medical conditions, medications, alcohol, caffeine and smoking habits often disrupt sleep schedules, which can lead to a number of sleeping disorders. When one or more sleep disorders begin affecting seniors during their waking moments, they may require medical intervention. Following are six of the most common sleep disorders among seniors.

1. Insomnia

When older adults experience difficulty falling or staying asleep or awaken repeatedly or too soon throughout the night, they may have insomnia. Other symptoms of insomnia include the inability to relax mentally or physically to enjoy restful sleep. 

2. Apnea

Many adults are afflicted with sleep apnea, which is caused when the soft palate relaxes to the point of obstructing breathing. Affected individuals then suffer bouts of breathing cessation throughout the night. The disorder leads to a number of daytime symptoms that include chronic fatigue. 

3. Restless Leg Syndrome

The problem may entail anything from sporadic leg movements, uncontrollable urges to move the legs or burning, crawling and tingling sensations that are alleviated by movement. The act of moving the legs either interferes with the ability to fall asleep or awakens seniors during the night. 

4. Limb Movement Disorder

Similar to restless leg syndrome, the disorder additionally includes involuntary movement of the arms. These involuntary spasms are so powerful that they can often jolt seniors out of their slumber and keep them from falling back asleep.

5. Circadian Rhythm Disorders

Under normal circumstances, darkness stimulates the brain to produce and release serotonin, which prompts sleep. However, someone having disruptions of circadian rhythms is unaffected when darkness approaches. As such, there is a lack or insufficient amount of serotonin. 

6. REM Behavior Disorder

When suffering from this disorder, older adults act out their dreams while asleep. They move around while in bed, verbalize conversations or actually leave their beds and perform activities. The vivid dreams experienced during the event are commonly unpleasant, which may trigger violent actions. 

If you notice that your senior loved one has trouble sleeping at night, it might be helpful to have a live-in caregiver look after him or her. Contact Home Care Assistance of Sacramento at 916.706.0169 today to learn about our flexible live-in and hourly home care. Our professional caregivers are available 24/7 day or night to help seniors adapt balanced routines that consist of nutritious diet, physical exercise, and adequate sleep. Schedule a free consultation to meet with an experienced Care Manager and customize a care plan today.