Common causes for insomnia in seniors

Common Causes for insomnia in seniors: useful insights by one of the best senior citizen homes in Chennai

April 15, 2023


Categories : Positive Ageing | Retirement Community


Insomnia in seniors can have a significant impact on their physical and mental health. Seniors who have difficulty sleeping may be more likely to fall and get hurt because of their fatigue and dizziness. Also, insomnia in seniors can lead to impairment in attention, memory, and decision-making. Insomnia also impacts the mental well-being of seniors. A 2011 study found that insomnia doubles the risk of major depressive disorder. As one of the best senior citizen homes in Chennai, we share with you some of the common causes for of insomnia in seniors: 

1. Changes in circadian rhythm: The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. With progressing age, the circadian rhythm of the body gradually changes. The hormone melatonin, produced by the pineal gland in the brain, plays a key role in regulating the circadian rhythm. As people age, their bodies produce less melatonin. Seniors should maintain a consistent sleep routine that will help regulate their circadian rhythm.


2. Lifestyle factors: Seniors often have disrupted sleep cycles because of lifestyle factors such as napping during the day, drinking caffeinated beverages, or consuming alcohol before bed. It is important that seniors limit their consumption of caffeine and alcohol, as well as practise a healthy lifestyle. Also, seniors should try to limit their daytime napping to a short nap. 


3. Medical conditions: Health issues such as chronic pain, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory problems, and neurological conditions can cause insomnia. Seniors who experience erratic sleeping patterns should consult doctors about treatment options. They can develop a treatment plan that addresses the insomnia as well as its underlying medical condition. 


4. Medications: In order to manage their health, seniors often take multiple medications which can affect their sleep cycle. Hence, it is recommended that seniors consult with their doctors to determine whether adjusting their medication regimen could help them fall asleep more easily at night. By speaking with their doctors, seniors can explore potential alternatives or adjustments to their medication that could improve their sleep quality and overall health.


5 . Stress and anxiety: As seniors experience significant life changes such as retirement, bereavement, or chronic illness, they may develop heightened levels of stress and anxiety. Excessive stress and anxiety can disrupt their natural sleep patterns, leading to difficulty falling asleep or waking up at irregular intervals. To manage their anxiety levels, seniors can try relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises. 


6. Sleep apnea: Many seniors suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes breathing interruptions during the night. This can lead to daytime fatigue and poor-quality sleep. Seniors who suffer from sleep apnea should consult with their doctor or healthcare provider to discuss their symptoms and determine if a sleep study is necessary.


7. Restless leg syndrome (RLS): Seniors who suffer from RLS  often experience an overwhelming urge to move their legs. This condition can cause daytime fatigue and disrupt their sleep cycle. 


Managing insomnia: useful tips for seniors 

Here are a few tips that seniors can follow to manage their insomnia and improve their sleep quality:

1. Establish a consistent sleep routine: Establishing a consistent sleep routine is important for seniors to regulate their circadian rhythm and enhance their sleep quality. 

2. Create a relaxing sleep environment: For a regular and peaceful sleep schedule, seniors should create a relaxing sleep environment that promotes sleep. They should keep the bedroom dark and cool, use a comfortable mattress and pillows, and install soundproof bedroom windows.  

3. Limit stimulants: For uninterrupted sleep, seniors should limit their caffeine and alcohol intake, especially before bedtime. Caffeine in beverages can disrupt sleep by blocking the adenosine receptors in the brain. Also, alcohol can make it harder for seniors to fall asleep.

4. Exercise regularly: Seniors should engage in regular physical activity such as walking, jogging, and yoga, to improve their sleep quality. 

Are you looking for the best senior citizen homes in Chennai? 

Enjoy a worry-free lifestyle at our retirement homes in Chennai. When you move to one of our senior living communities, you will find plenty to keep you busy. From playing crossword puzzles and joining art classes to participating in yoga and dance sessions, you can enjoy a wide range of activities. Our staff can help you with daily activities such as laundry and housekeeping to make your retirement life more enjoyable and convenient. To know more about our services and amenities, call us at +91 8884555554.


Relavent tags : senior living tips