Lack of Sleep Leads to Risks

For older people, sleep problems are pretty common. And not getting enough sleep increases the risks of both mental and physical health problems.

Eight hours of sleep a night helps keep people both healthy and alert. But, who gets eight hours anymore? While we all have trouble sleeping some of the time, insomnia especially afflicts the elderly.

Researchers say that people thought as you got older you needed less sleep, but what they are finding is that you need about the same amount of sleep as you did when you were younger. The sleep system becomes a little more fragile.

Researchers at the Clinilab Sleep Disorders Institute are finding that sleep medications are not necessarily a bad idea. One new drug being tested at the institute is Neurocrrit, which does not seem to make people dependent or left feeling groggy in the morning.

The drug risks for the elderly are often outweighed by the effects of insomnia. But before turning to medication, you might try these techniques. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, avoid naps, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Make sure your sleeping area is dark and comfortable.