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Prevalence and Causes of Sleep Issues among Seniors
Sleep habits change once a person starts ageing. Most seniors experience reduced duration and quality of sleep. This happens due to various physical and psychological factors associated with ageing.
We conducted a survey among Khyaal community members to collect information about their sleeping habits and patterns. Khyaal community members from the age group of 55 to 80 years participated in this survey. The findings from this survey suggest that many senior participants are unable to sleep due to numerous medical conditions, stress, pain, and functional limitations.
Below are the detailed findings of this survey.
From the Khyaal community, 200 seniors participated in this sleep-related survey titled Prevalence and Causes of Sleep Issues among Seniors.
It has been observed that 60% of the seniors out of 200 respondents slept for less than 6 hours. Plus, 23% of seniors slept for less than 4 hours.
70% of the 200 respondents face problems while sleeping.
As sleep conditions differ from person to person, most seniors need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Often waking up restless or tired in the morning indicates you are unable to get sufficient sleep in the night.
As per the study, 40% of the respondents with sleep problems highlighted frequent urination as the major reason for disturbed sleep. After frequent urination, stress is another main problem among 30% of the respondents for having sleepless nights.
Apart from frequent urination and stress, some other problems that affect the sleep of senior citizens are as follows:
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Insomnia creates problems for the elderly to sleep, difficulty to stay asleep, leads to waking up too early, and sometimes a person may also wake up with tiredness.
Sleep environments and poor sleep habits such as uncomfortable bed, bright & noisy room, fluctuating bedtime hours, falling asleep while watching TV and drinking alcohol before sleeping are a few factors that impact the sleep of the elderly.
Health conditions of the seniors can interrupt sleep. These health or medical conditions may include pain, dementia, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, nighttime acidity, Alzheimer's among others.
Medication is common among seniors and a combination of drugs may have side effects that can impact sleep.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring are common but serious sleep disorders that directly affect breathing. Thus, these disorders lead to major problems and restless sleep at night.
Lack of exercise and social engagement are the less considered yet important aspects that cause disturbance in sleep. Regular exercising, social activities, and family time can keep the seniors active and lead to a night of good sleep.
Note: On 23rd March 2022, there is a free online Khyaal session on sleep disorders specially designed for senior citizens. In this session, you can interact with Dr. Pooja Choradi and get answers to your questions. If you are a senior citizen and would like to attend this session, do click on the link to get yourself registered.
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