4 Common Reasons Seniors Are Struggling to Get a Good Sleep

Updated on January 13, 2021
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The process of aging can cause issues with sleeping for many seniors. In most cases, as energy levels decline, seniors tend to go to bed earlier in the evening and don’t always get into the same level of deep rest as they did when they were younger. Not to mention that it is important for seniors to go for regular health and dental check ups; call the Dentist in Niles if you need a recommendation.

Along with the natural aging process, seniors tend to have more health-related issues that can interfere with getting the rest that they need. Proper sleep is essential to maintain good mental health and healing, so narrowing down the reason behind a sleep problem is a crucial first step.

Sleep problems can have many sources for seniors, but there are remedies for most issues that can improve the quality of rest. From snoring and sleep apnea that can be treated with a non-invasive nasal treatment to Insomnia, there are a few common reasons seniors are struggling to get a good night’s sleep.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Sleep-related breathing disorders like snoring and sleep apnea are among the most common reasons seniors aren’t getting enough sleep. Snoring is often caused by an obstruction in the throat’s soft tissues, causing the air passing through to vibrate and produce a loud sound. Although snoring itself is not harmful, snoring’s underlying causes, including obesity, can become a problem if not adequately addressed.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing at several intervals during their sleep. This type of condition can be severe and investigated by doctors. Sleep apnea has been associated with more severe health concerns, including coronary heart disease and stroke.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Sufferers describe Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS, as an irrepressible tickling or crawling sensation in the legs. This kind of nervous tension cannot be ignored and is often why seniors have trouble getting comfortably off to sleep at night. In many patients, an iron deficiency is responsible and can be corrected by adding a vitamin supplement to the diet. A visit to your doctor to investigate nerve-related injuries or get a prescription muscle relaxant may be necessary in more severe cases.

Underlying Health Issues

Many seniors struggle with sleep problems that are a direct result of other underlying health issues and medications. It’s important to discuss all sleep problems with your physician to determine whether or not one of these common medical issues is responsible for the problem.

  • Chronic pain
  • Urinary tract problems and incontinence
  • Acid-reflux disease
  • Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Depression and Anxiety


Being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep is a disorder commonly known as insomnia. It’s believed that nearly 25% of all seniors experience some level of insomnia. When seniors aren’t getting enough sleep, it can reduce their brain function and cause fatigue. Talk to your doctor about medications that can help you get to sleep, and consider setting up a calming sleep routine that will help you get more rest. 

If you or someone you love is struggling to get enough rest, a visit to your doctor can help you find the root of the problem. Sleep is a vital part of maintaining good physical and mental health and should be prioritized in every seniors’ life. 


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