Sleep & Aging: What You Should Know

Sleep accounts for one-quarter to one-third of the human lifespan. But what exactly happens when you sleep?

Before the 1950s, most people believed sleep was a passive activity during which the body and brain were dormant. But it turns out that sleep is a period during which the brain is engaged in a number of activities necessary to life which are closely linked to quality of life.

Researchers are spending many of their waking hours trying to learn more about these processes and how they affect mental and physical health. 

Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults – 7 to 9 hours each night. But, older people tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger. There are many reasons why older people may not get enough sleep at night. Feeling sick or being in pain can make it hard to sleep. No matter the reason, if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the next day you may: be irritable; have memory problems or be forgetful; feel depressed; have more falls or accidents.

There are many things to help you get a good night’s sleep. Here are some ideas:

When people don’t get enough sleep, their health risks increase. Symptoms of depression, seizures, high blood pressure and migraines worsen. Immunity is compromised, increasing the likelihood of illness and infection. Sleep also plays a role in metabolism: Even one night of missed sleep can create a prediabetic state in an otherwise healthy person. There are many important connections between health and sleep.

If you feel tired and unable to do your activities for more than 2 or 3 weeks, you may have a sleep problem. Do not hesitate to call us and book a consultation to get our help.

Dr. Rohan Bissoondath

Medical Director

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