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Causes of Sleep Disturbances in Elderly People.

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

Elderly adults usually experience sleep disturbances that lead to problems falling asleep, differentiate night and day, untimely morning awakening, or waking up frequently during the night.

  • Sleep discomforts, such as lower back pain, neck and shoulder tension, back pain and neck pain, minor aches and pains, and lack of joint mobility.

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Asthma and other breathing problems;

  • Poor blood circulation, leading to numbness or cold hands and feet during sleep...and more!

What happens when you are sleep-deprived?

Sleeping does not only constitute the number of hours in bed, but also the quaity of those sleeping hours.

  • Lack of motivation, tiredness and fatigue;

  • grumpiness and irritability;

  • Reduced problem solving skills and decision-making skills.

5 ways to sleep better without popping a pill!

A recent study by researchers of the University of Toronto has shown that shown that adults over the age of 60 are about five times more likely to experience memory problem after taking sleeping pills. They are also three times more likely to suffer a fall and four times more likely to experience daytime fatigue.

It's always best to seek help of a health care professional to ensure your safety and proper advice. Instead of using sleeping pills, why not try the natural ways as a remedy to sleepless nights.

Take calcium and magnesium supplements daily.

Okay, here's an interesting fact. Together, these two promote sleep. The brain uses calcium in the production of melatonin (it helps absorb trytophan, which is then converted into melatonin). Melatonin regulates the circadian rhythm of the body and it helps induce sleep. Calcium also has a calming effect and help relax the muscles. On the other hand, one of the major symptoms of magnesium deficiency frequent awakenings.

Dr. James F Balch, MD, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing states that "a lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep." Moreover, James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota has proven in a study that as the patient restores magnesium levels, they experience deeper sleep with fewer disruptions.

The recommended dosage of calcium for adults 40 and up is about 1,000-1,200 mg, divided up throughout the day and taken after meals and at bedtime. Also, take some magnesium about 320-420 mg, divided throughout the day as well. Calcium must be taken with magnesium in a 2: 1 ratio. Vitamin D is also vital for calcium absorption.

Calcium-rich foods: milk or fortified soy beverage, almonds, tofu, plain not-fat yogurt, cheese, cereal, white beans, collard greens, oats, turnip greens, molasses, curly kale, sesame seeds, sardines, salmon and oranges.

Magnesium-rich foods: almonds, spinach, wheat bran, soybeans, squash, cashews, peanuts, oatmeal, wheat germ, potatoes, black beans, broccoli, halibut, scallop, and oysters.

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