Sleep disruption comes in many forms. Sometimes you wake up at 4 a.m., feeling suddenly wide awake and can’t fall back asleep. Or perhaps your internal clock goes off to send you to the bathroom or stir you from a dream. Other times, you may not realize you’re waking in the night, but you feel far from refreshed in the morning. Our sleep patterns naturally drift from deep, slow wave to light awakening, but it can become problematic when you experience mental fatigue for three or more days per week. If this describes your situation, then it’s time to assess the various factors that may be contributing to your sleepless nights and change what you can to get the revitalizing sleep you need to function.
The Cleveland Clinic states that “About half of all adults over the age of 65 have some sort of sleep disorder.” Although, “it is not clear if it is a normal part of aging or a result of medicines that older people commonly use.” Many older people wake to change positions or visit the bathroom (especially men with enlarged prostates), which is fine as long as you are able to doze off again right away. If you are up for more than 30 minutes a night for three or more nights a week, there may be a bigger problem like a sleep disorder or undiagnosed medical condition.
About 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep disorders. Sleep disorders may be traced back to hormonal issues, physical obstructions, or genetics.
The National Sleep Foundation lists the following common sleep disorders that you may suffer from:
Any type of chronic pain, no matter how great or small, can disturb a person’s sleep. Everything from headaches and menstrual pain, to arthritis and fibromyalgia have been implicated as common causes of disturbed rest. Pain signals sent out by the body fragment sleep and reduce the time of the deepest, most restorative sleep cycles.
The AARP cautions that the following medications are known to disturb sleep:
Additionally, botanical supplements like ginseng and guarana, as well as vitamins like B6 and B12 can wake people up when taken at night. Sometimes medical providers can adjust dosage, switch the type of medication you’re on, or prescribe a complementary sleep aid to help you rest easy.
There are many controllable factors involved in getting a good night’s rest as well. You don’t need to see a doctor or seek a prescription to create an environment that is more conducive for sleep. Consider these variables:
The Sleep Specialists at Mattress World Northwest can’t help with all of your sleep woes, but they are specially trained to help you discover your personal sleep comfort profile and show you different brands and models that offer the perfect marriage of body-hugging plushness and well-manufactured support. Our 11 stores in the Portland, Oregon area – including Salem, Happy Valley, Clackamas, Wilsonville, Beaverton and more – offer the largest selection of high quality mattresses and adjustable foundation beds, so you’re guaranteed to find a sleeping surface that promotes a more restful, restorative sleep. We hope to see you soon!