50% of People Over Age 65 Have Trouble Sleeping – Are You One of Them? By Robin Trimingham
I am pleased to announce that Olderhood.com will now be sharing health and lifestyle content from the US National Council for Aging Care. The mission of this organization is to help older adults who want to live independently, plan their finances and take charge their health care. Like Olderhood, the National Council for Aging Care believes that turning sixty-five is not the end of life, it is the beginning of a new life and it is important to start this life on the right foot.
This week we bring you an excerpt from “The Complete Guide to Insomnia” which will help you identify which type of insomnia you might be suffering from and offers solutions to get a better night’s rest. (This excerpt is shared with permission):
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that affects your ability to fall asleep and then remain asleep. It affects millions of adult Americans, but as seniors age, the likelihood of developing increases as well. While about one-fourth to one-third of the adult population reports sleeping problems—whether they last for a short or long period of time—that number increases to more than 50 percent for adults age 65 and over.
One major problem with insomnia is often the awareness of the simplicity of treatment. Though often very treatable with lifestyle changes, it’s been reported that up to 60 percent of people who suffer from insomnia don’t talk about it or mention it to their doctors. So let’s take a look at what exactly insomnia is, its many forms, the root behind what causes it, and how we can treat it.
Insomnia does not have one singular root cause of form. Because of that, there are different categorizations of insomnia based on the reasons you have insomnia, how long you have it, and how often you suffer from it.
The two main forms of insomnia, based on what causes it, are:
This form of insomnia means that you are simply having trouble sleeping, and doctors can’t chalk it up to any specific medical reason. This form may be a bit more complex to treat, as doctors may have to dive into your lifestyle and your own methods of falling asleep.
You have secondary insomnia when doctors can explain your sleep troubles with some form of medical reason, and the treatment for this insomnia starts with the medical issue. Some maladies that can cause secondary insomnia include cancer, depression, arthritis, addiction, and anxiety. The medication you’re taking can also affect your sleeping patterns.
There are also different classifications of insomnia based on how long and how often you have problems sleeping. These classifications are:
This form occurs when the insomnia symptoms last for just days or a couple weeks at a time. The causes range from stress on the job to a frequent traveling schedule that impacts sleeping patterns
Chronic insomnia occurs when you have issues sleeping multiple times per week for a month or longer, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Chronic insomnia is often associated with secondary insomnia, because health issues that last for months on end can fuel bouts with insomnia that last just as long.
All of these factors weigh into the medical issues that may arise from insomnia and how doctors will lay out a treatment plan, which is an important step in the diagnosing process.