Insomnia in the elderly

Insomnia in the elderly

Meaning of insomnia
Insomnia is a disorder in the sleep, it is difficult to sleep, not drowsy when it’s time to sleep, can’t sleep well, sleep and wake up in the middle of the night, can’t wake up and go back to sleep, or even if feeling exhausted, unable to sleep. It becomes a chronic problem that bothers the mind and body processes. Impact on daily life, study, work, and relationships with others.

Symptoms of insomnia
Insomnia has the following important symptoms:

  • insomnia, restlessness It takes a long time to sleep.
  • Exhausted, not refreshed, rejuvenated.
  • Sleepy all the time during the day, can’t sleep at night.
  • Tired body, need rest but still can’t sleep well.
  • Difficulty sleeping, staying up late, waking up late.
  • Waking up and unable to sleep anymore.
  • Lack of concentration, erroneous work, poor memory.

Usually, people have different sleep hours according to age range. The number of hours appropriate to get enough sleep for each age is as follows:

  • Newborns 14-17 hours a day
  • Age 1 year, 14 hours a day
  • Age 2 years, 12-14 hours a day
  • Age 3-5 years old, 10-13 hours a day
  • Age 6-13 years old, 9-11 hours a day
  • Age 14-17 years old, 8-10 hours a day
  • Adults 7-9 hours a day

The elderly have shorter sleep hours. Because the body is able to produce fewer substances that help sleep.

Causes of insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Physical factors
Already have a medical condition or pain at various points and organs of the body, thus causing insomnia complications such as gastritis, migraine. Injured from an accident, cancer or Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders, or snoring while sleeping is another common cause of insomnia. People with this disease stop breathing for a short time and wake up. While sleeping, muscle disorders that cause spasms and twitching May wake the patient in the middle of the night, You can’t sleep well or can’t sleep again.

The other part is a physical change. Usually, as the body grows with different ages and ages The need for restful sleep will be reduced. Because the body will produce serotonin, a hormone that helps to reduce sleep. Therefore, insomnia is often found in middle age, old age, and pregnant women. Which insomnia is caused by changing hormones and physical conditions.

Psychological factor
Stress, anxiety, depression, depression, joy or excitement, nervousness, causing stress. Until the change of neurotransmitters in the body, making you unable to sleep normally.

External factors
There is an inappropriate environment that interferes while sleeping, such as noise, bright light, and the perception of various odors that disturb the relaxed state before sleep, and certain types of treatment can cause pain and insomnia, such as chemotherapy in cancer patients. Pain from surgical wounds, etc.

Some drug treatments can affect insomnia, such as steroid drugs. (Corticosteroids) such as Cortisone, Methylprednisolone, and Prednisone. Which is a drug used to treat inflammation of the blood vessels and muscles These drugs will stimulate the work of the adrenal glands. Affect the nerves, perception, and response. Keeping the body awake until insomnia and antidepressants such as Citalopram, Escitalopram and Fluoxetine are drugs that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin. This is a key hormone that controls the nerves, perception, sensation, and response to stimuli. The use of these drugs may stimulate the nervous system to wake you up and cause insomnia, so treatment and use of certain drugs should be under the supervision and advice of a doctor.

Other factors
In addition to the causes mentioned above Insomnia can be caused by a personality trait. Sleeping at the wrong time from the normal time that the body is familiar with such as working in shifts or improper adjustment from traveling across the world time zone (Jet Lag). Eating too much food before bed can lead to poor sleep. Drinking and using addictive substances, such as caffeine in coffee or tea, Nicotine in cigarettes, and various drugs containing sedatives that cause insomnia Including drinking alcohol Which even makes the drinkers sleepy at first But it has the effect of inducing insomnia or waking up in the middle of the night.

Insomnia diagnosis
Self-diagnosis This can be done by observing and recording sleep behavior in about 2 weeks, such as difficulty or not. It takes more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. or waking up in the middle of the night and unable to go back to sleep, Is there a disturbing environment while sleeping? Is there something to think that bothers me and have symptoms of fatigue, unusual tiredness, or not during the day?

Diagnosis by a doctor, Your doctor will ask you about your sleep history for the past week. Looking for physical causes, such as having an underlying disease, or are there other illnesses as well? Snoring or not and find psychological causes such as stress, depression, or are there any worries? In order to find the right treatment method.

Insomnia treatment

Self-healing
Go to bed and wake up at the same time on a regular basis. Get enough sleep to meet their age needs. Avoid becoming obsessed with highs, stress, and anxiety. Do some relaxing activities before going to bed. Eat a healthy diet, Refrain from caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee, do not drink alcohol, smoke, or use addictive substances.

Drug treatment
Some drugs must be used only under the close supervision of a doctor and prescription. The drugs used are melatonin drugs, which are drugs used to increase melatonin levels. It is often used when there is a problem of improper adjustment when crossing the world time zone (Jet Lag). Antipsychotics or medication to treat psychosis helps to relax and reduce anxiety symptoms. Makes sleep easy and sleep well. It is used only when there is an indication of depression or psychiatric symptoms accompanying insomnia. Benzodiazepines or a sleeping pill that has a stress-relieving effect Relax the muscles Helps to sleep deeply and long.

Therapy and medical treatment
This includes measuring the severity of symptoms with tools and medical tests. Consultation Therapies for relaxation, such as music therapy, hydrotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy.

Complications of insomnia
What may come after insomnia is effects on your physical, mental, and lifestyle conditions.

  • Insufficient rest prevents the metabolism of the body from working properly. May cause diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or the resulting obesity.
  • Body fatigue during the day, Have a problem with the memory system, Causing lack of efficiency to study or work and the risk of an accident that is dangerous to life and property of oneself and others as well, such as falling asleep while using a car, using roads or using machinery.
  • Chronic insomnia, can affect mental health, It increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and may increase the risk of substance or alcohol use to aid sleep.

Insomnia prevention
Solving the problem of insomnia Should be determined based on the severity of the symptoms. If there is insomnia for less than 1 week or only a certain period of time with various factors affecting it and does not have symptoms continuously People with the condition can take care of themselves to get over this condition by:

  • Adjust the sleeping behavior, go to bed at a time, do not nap during the day, and sleep when sleepy, not trying to put pressure on yourself to sleep. This is because side effects are anxiety and make it harder to sleep. But find a relaxing activity to do before bedtime, such as reading or listening to soft music.
  • Change the environment to be relaxed, make new room to ventilate, eliminate distractions in the room area, or moving the accommodation to a calm, comfortable, and livable environment.
  • Eat food that is nutritious, For good health, free from disease and sickness, Abstain from eating heavy meals before going to bed. Also, avoid drinking and using drugs that contain stimulants.
  • Reduce the stress of daily life, Avoid conflicts that cause stress. Change new perspectives to life, think positively, look for simple happiness in your surroundings, understand life, and know-how to let go.
  • Exercise regularly, as appropriate for the physical condition However, exercise should be at least 4 hours away from going to bed, as this can make it harder to sleep.

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