How is Sleep Quality Linked to Medical Conditions?
The more medical ailments people have, the worse they sleep. Most sleep problems that affect seniors are related to their illnesses or medications used to treat them. Seniors that are in good health do not complain as much about their sleep as those that have other medical conditions, such as pain or arthritis.
The connection between pain and sleep may actually create a vicious cycle. Those that suffer from pain do not sleep well at all. And when sleep quality and quantity is poor, the pain is worse the next day.
Will Sleep Disorders Become More Common with Age?
Many sleep disorders do become more prevalent as we age, such as Insomnia, Snoring and Sleep Apnea, Restless Legs Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep, Circadian Rhythm Disorders, and acid reflux. The good news is that these conditions are all treatable.
All of the conditions, if left untreated, will lead to fragmented sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness. Poor sleep quality can also exacerbate other conditions such as high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Excessive daytime sleepiness can impact vigilance and increases the risk of accidents.
If you think you have a sleep disorder, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional about your sleep.