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What Elderly People Need To Know: Unmet Need For Sleep, Sleep Deprivation Causes Diseases [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 08, 2017 11:02 AM EDT

Research shows elderly people need as much sleep as when they were younger but the difficulty lies in getting it. It underscores the importance of dealing with the problem because sleep deprivation causes a number of diseases.

Researchers from the University of California concluded that aging is accompanied by degradation of cells and circuits in the brain responsible for sleep, and this affects the quality of shut-eye of elderly people. The restorative stage of sleep is what they have trouble producing.

The team led by Matthew Walker, director of the UC Berkeley Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory found that the changes occur in people in their mid-30s age, especially with men-- the time when the shifts in sleep patterns are not readily noticed.

Walker explained that this could help understand the process of aging. The evidence seemed to point that advancing in age comes with sleep decline although that does not mean it will not affect the physical and mental health.

It is recommended that seniors avoid habits that may make getting the right amount of sleep even harder. For example, drinking coffee a few hours before bedtime might get in the way of nodding off and alcohol is not going to help either, the Telegraph reported.

Sleep deprivation causes a variety of symptoms in individuals of any age. It is not uncommon for people to have low energy levels and feel tired throughout the day. A few people might also experience headaches, tension and lightheadedness.

It affects the mood as well. People who have insufficient sleep could get more irritable and be in a low mood, a survey found. Our concentration may be impaired too and this has a big impact on delicate work-related tasks and driving among others.

Poor quality of sleep has been shown to negatively affect memory, according to Sleepio.

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