Sleep experts are hammering to us that we need to get enough sleep (7 to 9 hours overnight) every day to promote good health and to decrease the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Most people above 40 years are dealing with important challenges in their quest for a perfect sleep. If the root cause of interrupted of sleep is not addressed, then the sleep recommendations may go out the window.
- Pain causes many people to have interrupted sleep patterns. Even if some of them take pain medication, it is not guaranteed that pain will not interfere with sleep. According to the All of Us Research Program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a whooping 79% of the 228K participants reported pain as a condition in the United States.
- The bladder comes out knocking in the middle of the night disrupting sleep and urging people to urinate in the middle of the night. This situation may be caused by nocturia or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or just by the need to drink some water to relief thirst in the middle of the night.
- Medications may interrupt sleep patterns. These include Alpha-blockers, Beta-blockers, corticosteroids, SSRI antidepressants, statins, H1 antagonists, ACE inhibitors, glucosamine/chondroitin, etc.
- Menopause with accompanying night sweats and hot flashes disrupt sleep patterns. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and SSRI antidepressants may help to manage symptoms, but not all women can benefit from them.
- Sleep cycles change with age. Waking up at 3:00 am out of nowhere followed by insomnia becomes a normal pattern for many people due to possible changes in the circadian rhythm.
- Mental health issues such as chronic stress, depression, and anxiety wake people up at night, followed by rumination that prevents them from falling back to sleep.
- Snoring since the neck tends to become low in muscle tone starting in middle age.
What will it take to improve the current sleep recommendations so they can benefit people who are living longer, but their bodies have difficulty achieving the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night?
Just taking melatonin, using a digital sleep tracker, or taking a sedative pill for sleep (Ambien or Valium) is not the most viable approach if the root causes are not properly addressed and managed.
Do the issues above may explain the reason why many people living longer tend to take at least one nap during the day to feel reenergized?
So, do experts need to set up specific recommendations for adults living longer especially since many suffer from more than one underlying issue affecting sleep patterns?
How is your sleep going?
Do you know of any product, therapy, or innovation that is truly addressing irregular sleeping patterns as a 360° solution for people living longer as per the above? If so, please share in comments or send us an email to email@example.com
Written in my own words, please excuse any typos. I am human.