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Common Sleep Issues in the Elderly

There are many things that can contribute to sleep issues in the elderly. It is important to know more about these things if you are one of the family caregivers for your loved one. In some instances, you might even need to hire an elderly care provider to help implement better sleep habits in your elderly loved one.

ASPD or Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder

This is a type of circadian sleep disorder that is common in the elderly. The circadian rhythm is biological and it controls when someone sleeps and wakes up. It controls many other types of physiological functions, too. With this disorder, someone has a shift in their sleep-wake cycle. They may feel tired earlier in the day and wake up very early in the morning hours. Many of the elderly citizens will try to fight this and that can wreak a lot more havoc on their system. They may become sleep deprived and end up sleeping even more during the day. If your loved one has this disorder, you may need to hire an elderly care provider to make sure they are sleeping when they should be.


Insomnia is when someone can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. It is a sleep disorder that is quite common in the elderly. When someone has chronic insomnia, there could be a range of factors that are contributing to it. They could have anxiety or depression. They may have a medical condition that is causing their insomnia or they might have circadian rhythm shifts. Some people who are diagnosed with insomnia might get sleeping medications from their doctors. Elderly care providers can make sure your loved one is taking their medication when they are supposed to be.

Sleep Apnea

Another common sleep issue in the elderly is sleep apnea. There are different types of sleep apnea that your elderly loved one might have. One of these types is called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. This happens when the throat muscles relax fully when someone falls asleep. These muscles block the airway. Another type is central sleep apnea or CSA. This happens when the airways are blocked because the brain doesn’t send the right signal to the throat muscles. Someone might have mixed sleep apnea, too. This is a mixture of both the above-mentioned types of sleep apnea. If someone has sleep apnea, they may be given a CPAP machine by their doctor. If you hire an elderly care provider, they can remind your loved one to make sure they are using their machine when they are supposed to be.

As someone gets older, their risk of getting sleep apnea will increase. Sleep issues can cause havoc on the body and on the overall health of the person. If your loved one is having sleep issues, be sure they get medical treatment right away.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Lone Tree, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.