Older people wake up an average of 3 or 4 times each night. They are also more aware of being awake. Older people wake up more often because they spend less time deep sleep. Other causes include needing to get up and urinate (nocturia), anxiety, and discomfort or pain from long-term (chronic) illnesses.
8 Home Remedies to Help Seniors Sleep Better
Physiologic changes of aging, environmental conditions, and chronic medical illnesses contribute to insomnia in the elderly. Sleep disturbance in the elderly is associated with decreased memory, impaired concentration, and impaired functional performance.
The choice of a hypnotic agent in the elderly is symptom-based. Ramelteon or short-acting Z-drugs can treat sleep-onset insomnia. Suvorexant or low-dose doxepin can improve sleep maintenance. Eszopiclone or zolpidem extended release can be utilized for both sleep onset and sleep maintenance.
Tips and tricks
The sleep-wake cycle—also called circadian rhythm—is the internal clock in our body that initiates physical processes related to wake and sleep. When this cycle is disturbed in Alzheimer’s patients, the result is not sleeping at night and sleeping too much during the day.
Temazepam is the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine for insomnia. Therefore, based on current utilization patterns, the following section will review pertinent data on temazepam, trazodone, zolpidem, and the newest nonbenzodiazepine—zaleplon—for the treatment of insomnia in elderly patients.
Most healthy older adults age 65 or older need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to feel rested and alert. But as you age, your sleep patterns may change.
In the elderly, nonbenzodiazepines such as zolpidem, eszopiclone, zaleplon, and ramelteon are safer and better tolerated than tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines. Pharmacotherapy should be recommended only after sleep hygiene is addressed, however.
Magnesium Magnesium is perhaps the most important vitamin or mineral when it comes to sleep. It plays a key role in the bodily function that regulates sleep and studies have shown that sleep suffers without optimal vitamin intake.
1. Cherries. Cherries (especially sour cherries like the Montmorency variety) are one of the only (and highest) natural food sources of melatonin.
Which foods can help you sleep?