Changes in Sleep Pattern as We Age

Do you sleep as soundly as you did when you were 20? Do you wake easily or find it difficult to go back to sleep? Sleep quality changes as we age. At Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, Dr. Jeremy McConnell educates his senior patients on the differences in their sleep patterns and advises on managing this natural part of getting older.

What impacts a night’s sleep

Many factors do, regardless of your age. Pain, medications, the light from TV or a computer screen, alcohol, bedroom temperature, and illness impair anyone’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Depression, stress, and life events, such as widowhood or problems on the job, cause episodic and chronic insomnia. If you notice any of these happening to you, talk to your Bradenton FL sleep specialist today.

Some people even have identifiable sleep disorders. The American Sleep Apnea Association says that 22 million adults in the United States suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. Marked by loud snoring and periodic wakening and breathing cessation (apnea), sleep apnea happens to people of all walks of life and leads to systemic health problems such as type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and stroke.

Age is a factor

As someone approaches age 60, sleep architecture, or sleep patterns, shift. Common changes include:

  • – Feeling sleepy early in the evening and waking early in the morning (called Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome, reports
  • – Chronic or acute insomnia related to medications or health conditions
  • – Restless leg syndrome in which the person moves his or her legs in response to an unpleasant tingling feeling
  • – Less REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep, indicative of rest which has few to no periods of active, vivid dreaming

When older people struggle with their sleep patterns, their mood, mental sharpness, and memory change. In short, the overall quality of life worsens. Seniors may become accident-prone too when they do not get sufficient quality sleep.

How we can help

At Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota FL, Dr. Jeremy McConnell and his staff consult with patients of all ages to review their sleep symptoms, perform supervised sleep studies as needed, and treat sleep problems with plans customized to patient need. Age does not have to impede how well you rest. Phone us at (941) 792-8383.