Why do elderly people often sleep less?
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Every day, everyone needs to get a sufficient amount of sleep, depending on their age. However, the elderly (the elderly) often sleep less, thus making a significant impact on health.

Sleep is a periodic natural activity that the sensations and most of the body’s movements are temporarily suspended (except for heart, pulse, respiration, kidney, etc.). number slower than usual). With a noticeable feature, the body is completely or partially unconscious and the immobility of almost all muscles.

The role of physiological sleep

After a working day, the body needs time to rest and supports the immune system to excrete toxic substances (for example, for the liver, between 1 and 3 in the morning, the liver is at its strongest). excretion of toxic substances). So during this time, the more deeper sleep, the more it helps the liver to complete the elimination of toxins in the body. A deep sleep and in accordance with the circadian rhythm will make you feel comfortable when you wake up. The effect of physiological sleep not only helps patients recover quickly, but also nourishes the skin, prevents memory loss, reduces the risk of stroke and a variety of other diseases for the elderly.

How is good sleep?

The average adult needs 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night. A good night’s sleep is guaranteed quality sleep, which means getting enough sleep and deep sleep. Signs for older persons to notice whether or not they sleep well through the feeling after waking up. If you wake up in a relaxed spirit, indicating that you have had a good sleep, and if you have just woken up and are still sleepy and uncomfortable, not concentrating on work, you may have a sleep disorder.

Why the older is more difficult in sleeping?

Studies show that older adults, especially men, sleep less in time – on average, after age 60 and especially after retirement, they sleep 5 or 6 hours per night instead of 7 or 8 hours, on average. sleep of young people. Not only that, in terms of quality, older people sleep more shallow because they wake up more often each night (nocturia, aches and pains, asthma attacks …) and each awakening like that takes a while to sleep again And sleep after sleep is shallow, flicker and can sleep, even nightmares wake up.

In fact, with older persons, there will be many factors that affect sleep such as physical condition (thinness, malnutrition …), neurological factors (or anxiety …), psychological factors, hormonal factors (hormones) -mon) and suffer from many diseases. In particular, hormones and diseases play a very important role affecting the sleep of the elderly. In 1958, scientists discovered that the hormone Melatonin secreted from the pineal gland in the brain is the basis of sleep. Melatonin is called a “dark hormone”, because Melatonin is stimulated by night and is inhibited by light. Normally, melatonin levels begin to be produced around the time the sun sets, rising sharply from 2-4 am (when it’s the deepest sleep) and then gradually decreasing as daylight comes into play. body tone, set a clock in the brain and regulate the natural sleep of people. Thanks to Melatonin, people have a refreshing, smooth sleep without getting tired when they wake up. As people age, the specialized cells responsible for sleep are losing their ability to sleep deeply.

With disease, the majority of older people increasingly poor memory, reduced physiological functions, including the brain affecting sleep. If the elderly has osteoarthritis diseases (degenerative joint, gout, stiffness …) or diseases of the digestive tract (stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux – esophagitis, chronic colitis or hemorrhoids …), or respiratory diseases (asthma, bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.), or benign prostatic hyperplasia (older men (male)) usually have nocturnal illness. Especially, when the seasons change to hot, cold, rainy, dry, monsoon overflows, tropical depression greatly affects the sleep, so sleeping less, not sleeping well. In addition, sleeping less can be due to the elderly use some drugs (western medicine, traditional medicine, traditional medicine, unknown drugs) affect sleep.

Lack of sleep is harmful to health like?

According to British scientists, people who regularly suffer from insomnia (sleeping less than 5 hours a night) are at risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. Lack of sleep also increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, depression, alcoholism, smoking (sleep less want to drink or smoke), can cause strokes on older persons already have cardiovascular disease. and the potential for accidents when driving vehicles. Insomnia directly affects areas of the brain that cause distraction and can easily lead to loss of temper and temper.

What to do to sleep more, better?

When prolonged sleep deprivation (sleep deprivation), the elderly should see a doctor so that the doctor can help adjust sleep, sometimes only scientific advice without using drugs. On the other hand, a medical examination will help determine the cause of sleep.

(Theo Suckhoesoisong)

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