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The Elderly vs. Insomnia: A Perpetual Battle for Rest

One of the most common complaints of the elderly is a lack of sleep.  This may be in the form of an inability to initiate sleep or an inability to maintain sleep for prolonged periods of time.  Frequent waking is the most common form of insomnia amongst the elderly.

Insomnia can be caused by a plethora of factors.   Without a specific disease/condition, insomnia can be a result of several things occurring at the same time.  Below is a list of common causes of insomnia:

  • Caffeine
  • Depression
  • Diet Pills
  • Anxiety
  • Nicotine
  • Intense bedtime thinking/worrying
  • Prescription drugs: Ask your doctor for further details
  •  Eating meals or exercising before  going to bed
  • Acute/Chronic pain
  • Noise
  • Drugs/Alcohol
  • Naps during the day
  • Neurological disorders (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s etc.)
  • Day to day stress

Without proper rest the body wears down tremendously.  Healing slows down and becomes less effective,   aging (at a cellular level as well as physical appearance) accelerates and an individual becomes hyperirritable towards strangers as well as loved ones.

As seen above, it is quite apparent that insomnia can be caused by a wide range of factors.  The key is to minimize or remove certain factors that you can control yourself.  Activities such as consumption of food/caffeine and exercise should not be performed before going to bed.  These should be done at least 2-3 hours prior to going to bed.

Depression, anxiety and stress are perhaps more prevalent in this day and age than any other.  It is vitally important to address such emotions as quickly as possible.  Non-medicinal tools to combat such emotions are yoga, tai chi, massage, acupuncture and meditation to name a few.

Sleep is the most cost effective anti-aging formula as well as a viable method to combat chronic pain.  Remember, sleep is our body’s time to rest, recuperate and replenish.

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