Some of my neighbors and I were discussing the difficulties of getting enough sleep as we age, so I decided to do a little research on common sleep disorders:
In an article titled Sleep Disorders in Older People (Age and Ageing 2002) author Joseph Harbison revealed these key points:
- Sleep disorders are very common in older people, particularly those living in long-term care, and may be markers for other diseases.
- Doctors are sometimes unaware of the propensity for commonly used drugs to cause sleep disturbance. Insomnia is often multifactorial in elderly people.
- Benzodiazepines should be used to treat insomnia only when it is severe, disabling, or subjecting the individual to extreme distress. Try non-pharmacological method instead.
- Circadian rhythm disorders, parasomnias, and sleep related movement disorders are all common amongst older people and are often easily treated.
- Older people should be warned that they need longer to adjust to long haul flights.