As you get older your sleeping might decline and you may experience a lack of sleep caused by disruptions. Or you might just not be able to fall asleep at all. Either way you look at it, difficulty sleeping can take a toll on your health and well-being.
Sleep experts state that small biological changes leave people in their 50s, 60s and older feeling less refreshed after a night in bed. Quality of sleep changes over time with physical ailments and medicines often making matters worse. However, a lack of sleep can also be associated with many serious medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and obstructive sleep apnea.
Here is how a lack of sleep affects you during younger years and through your midlife.
Sleep during your younger years
Many 18 to 24-year-olds complain the most about a lack of sleep. If you find yourself falling asleep on the bus or in front of the TV, odds are you are not getting enough quality sleep. Irritability and poor concentration can also be signs of sleep deprivation.
Either way you look at it, you’re missing out on sleep. And that can also have something to do with your natural body rhythms because they are programmed to want to go to sleep later. Unfortunately, at this age, sleep isn’t technically worse. It is important to try your best at getting more frequent sleep.
A lack of sleep in your midlife
As you reach middle age, many people begin to push themselves even harder as they work full time jobs, raise children and attempt to keep up with the latest TV they are binging. Their primary sleep problem is their own choice because they are choosing to attempt to complete all these activities. As we age, the structure of sleep changes and it begins to take longer to fall asleep.
To add to that, sleep becomes much more fragmented as people get older. You might find that you are waking up slightly a couple times throughout the night when you are 40 years old. And then by the time you’re 60, you might be waking up 20-30 times a night.
Starting in a person’s 40s, sleep apnea typically begins and worsens with age. In fact, sleep apnea increases three-fold after menopause, which poses a risk for many women as they get older. Women often complain more about sleep after menopause, but studies have shown that these women actually sleep longer and more deeply than premenopausal women.
It is important to get a good night’s sleep because it is vital in maintaining your health and well-being. To learn more about sleep apnea and your options, contact Dr. Sara in North Scottsdale.