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25.12.2013

Causes of insomnia in old age, causes of memory and concentration problems - Reviews

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Sleeplessness or insomnia is a serious medical condition that has a massive impact on one's physiological and mental balance. The actigraph showed that most of the older adults in the experiment had enough sleep of about 7.9 hours and13 percent of them did not feel well rested. It’s not unusual to have trouble sleeping as we get older because our sleeping patterns naturally change.
While the occasional bad night’s sleep is unlikely to affect you too much, insomnia can have a huge impact on your daily life. Physical discomforts like chronic pain disorders, arthritis pain, angina, duodenal ulcers, fibromyalgia, brain tumors, strokes, trauma to brain even frequent night urination can cause insomnia.
A chronic medication like hypnotics and antidepressants develops drug tolerance and a sudden withdrawal may cause insomnia.
Sleep disorders like sleep apnea which causes pauses in breathing or shortness of breath is a leading cause of insomnia. Sometimes insomnia lasts for few days and goes away on its own, especially when it is due to an obvious reason like stress, problems in relations or jet lag. If you find that you are having trouble staying focused on concentrating, there could be many causes of this – and many ways to correct the problem. Experts have different definitions of insomnia, says Johns Hopkins sleep expert Rachel Salas, M.D. Dementia (di-men-sha): A loss of brain function that can be caused by a variety of disorders affecting the brain.


For instance travelers, shift workers with changing working schedules, alcoholics, drug abusers and aged people are at higher risk for insomnia. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstruction in upper airways, most commonly seen in overweight people with increased neck diameter.
Insomnia is a big issue for everyone and most of the time it is stress of some kind to blame.
But insomnia is generally characterized by trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, resulting in a lack of sleep that causes distress or difficulty with daily activities.
Often when people start to have trouble sleeping, the steps they take to cope with their insomnia actually make the problem hang around longer, says Salas. A sleep expert can help you learn the causes of your insomnia and recommend a plan to treat it.
Salas and her team found differences in the part of the brain that controls movement (the motor cortex) in those with chronic insomnia compared to a group of good sleepers. While sleep issues may increase as your loved one ages or experiences changes in health, you may also be at a higher risk of sleep problems due to stress or odd hours. Stressful situations like exams, loss of loved ones, divorce or unemployment causes short-time insomnia which should be treated in time before it transforms into depression. In women, hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, pre-menstruation and menopause causes insomnia. Extreme temperatures, noise, too hard or soft mattresses, hunger, teething, indigestion, ear pain, cramps, colic or change in the person’s surroundings can cause insomnia too.


If it happens at least three nights a week and lasts for at least one month, you may have what sleep experts call persistent insomnia disorder. However, a sleep-medicine specialist can likely dig deeper into the causes of your insomnia and offer more ways to resolve it.
People with sleep apnea frequently stop breathing while they sleep, which causes them to wake up for a short time. By age 60, the body produces very little melatonin-the hormone which helps to control sleep. Most commonly used substances like tea, coffee or caffeine before bedtime or sugar snacks before bedtime and colas causes insomnia as well. What’s more, sedatives and benzodiazepines can cause rebound insomnia (significant return of the original symptom in absence of the original cause) when continued for sleep aids. Chronic insomnia can even contribute serious health problems like heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes.



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