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6 Common Sleep Disorders Among the Elderly

It’s no secret to Orlando home caregivers that sleep is particularly important for seniors who often need extra rest to overcome illnesses and health problems. Unfortunately, many seniors do not get the seven to nine hours of sleep they need because of these six common sleep disorders.

1. Sleep Apnea

Seniors with sleep apnea suddenly stop breathing briefly before starting again. This disrupts sleep and leaves them feeling tired all day. A CPAP machine can help them breathe regularly at night, but overweight seniors may be able to beat the condition by losing weight.

2. REM Behavior Disorder (RBD)

This disorder causes recurrent bouts of sleepwalking because seniors act out their dreams instead of lying asleep in bed. In addition to exhaustion, RBD increases the risk of seniors injuring themselves. Live-in Orlando caregivers should remind seniors with RBD to take clonazepam every night before bed. This helpful medication has proven significantly effective in treating this condition.

3. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

RLS keeps seniors from sleeping because they constantly feel the need to move their legs and it often gets worse with age. Regular exercise and avoiding caffeine and tobacco products can help seniors reduce these symptoms and get a good night’s sleep.

4. Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder (CRSD)

The circadian rhythm causes humans to feel sleepy in the evening and awake in the morning, but seniors with CRSD find it impossible to sleep at normal times. Practicing good sleeping habits can help to alleviate CRSD, but seniors who do not have to go to work might just benefit from being able to sleep whenever their body clock tells them to feel sleepy.

5. Insomnia

Insomnia is a basic inability to fall asleep. Sleeping pills can help sometimes, but most seniors get more benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, and avoiding electronic devices an hour before bed.

6. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

This disorder causes unconscious leg and arm movements during sleep that may be strong enough to wake up a senior. Muscle relaxants and anticonvulsant medications can help reduce symptoms of PLMD.

With help from Home Care Assistance of Orlando, seniors can get the good night’s sleep they need to function properly throughout the day. Our expertly trained caregivers help seniors adopt healthy lifestyle habits such as nutritious diet, physical exercise, and regular sleep schedules to promote overall wellness. Meet with a trusted Care Manager today by calling (407) 232-7155 to customize a unique care plan for your loved one.