Sleep and Growing Older
PDF | In young adults, sleep affects the regulation of growth hormone (GH) and cortisol. The relationship between decreased sleep quality in older adults and. Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep, REMS) is a unique phase of sleep in mammals and .. Another possible relationship between the two phenomena could be that the The relative amount of REM sleep varies considerably with age. The sleep cycle includes: Dreamless periods of light and deep sleep; Some periods of active dreaming (REM sleep). The sleep cycle is.
In slow-wave sleep the eyes can drift apart; however, the eyes of the paradoxical sleeper move in tandem. Congenitally blind people, who do not typically have visual imagery in their dreams, still move their eyes in REM sleep.
Heart ratecardiac pressure, cardiac outputarterial pressureand breathing rate quickly become irregular when the body moves into REM sleep.
Overall, the brain exerts less control over breathing; electrical stimulation of respiration-linked brain areas does not influence the lungs, as it does during non-REM sleep and in waking. In females, erection of the clitoris nocturnal clitoral tumescence or NCT causes enlargement, with accompanying vaginal blood flow and transudation i.
During a normal night of sleep the penis and clitoris may be erect for a total time of from one hour to as long as three and a half hours during REM. However, even cats with pontine lesions preventing muscle atonia during REM did not regulate their temperature by shivering. When the body shifts into REM sleep, motor neurons throughout the body undergo a process called hyperpolarization: Muscle inhibition may result from unavailability of monoamine neurotransmitters restraining the abundance of acetylcholine in the brainstem and perhaps from mechanisms used in waking muscle inhibition.
Certain scientific efforts to assess the uniquely bizarre nature of dreams experienced while asleep were forced to conclude that waking thought could be just as bizarre, especially in conditions of sensory deprivation. The prospect that well-known neurological aspects of REM do not themselves cause dreaming suggests the need to re-examine the neurobiology of dreaming per se. People awakened from REM have performed better on tasks like anagrams and creative problem solving.
Sleep and Aging: Causes of Sleep Problems | Cleveland Clinic
REM sleep through this process adds creativity by allowing "neocortical structures to reorganise associative hierarchies, in which information from the hippocampus would be reinterpreted in relation to previous semantic representations or nodes.
In the ultradian sleep cycle an organism alternates between deep sleep slow, large, synchronized brain waves and paradoxical sleep faster, desynchronized waves.
Sleep happens in the context of the larger circadian rhythmwhich influences sleepiness and physiological factors based on timekeepers within the body. Sleep can be distributed throughout the day or clustered during one part of the rhythm: Many animals and some people tend to wake, or experience a period of very light sleep, for a short time immediately after a bout of REM. The relative amount of REM sleep varies considerably with age.
The first REM episode occurs about 70 minutes after falling asleep. Cycles of about 90 minutes each follow, with each cycle including a larger proportion of REM sleep.
Sleep and Growing Older
In faster-developing mammals this process occurs in utero. The proportion of REM sleep then decreases significantly in childhood.
Older people tend to sleep less overall but sleep in REM for about the same absolute time, and therefore spend a greater proportion of sleep in REM.
Processing of external stimuli is heavily inhibited during phasic REM, and recent evidence suggests that sleepers are more difficult to arouse from phasic REM than in slow-wave sleep. It may be harder to fall asleep and you may spend more total time in bed. The transition between sleep and waking up is often abrupt, which makes older people feel like they are a lighter sleeper than when they were younger. Less time is spent in deep, dreamless sleep.The benefits of a good night's sleep - Shai Marcu
Older people average three or four awakenings each night. They are also more aware of being awake.
Rapid eye movement sleep
Older people wake up more often because they spend less time deep sleep. Other causes include needing to get up and urinate nocturiaanxiety, and discomfort or pain from chronic illnesses. Chronic insomnia is a major cause of auto accidents and depression. Because older people sleep more lightly and wake up more often, they may feel deprived of sleep even when their total sleep time has not changed.
Sleep deprivation can eventually cause confusion and other mental changes. It is treatable, though. You can reduce symptoms when you get enough sleep. Sleep problems are also a common symptom of depression. See a health care provider to find out whether depression or another health condition is affecting your sleep.
Other sleep disorderssuch as restless legs syndrome, narcolepsyor hypersomnia can also occur. Sleep apneawhere breathing stops for a time during sleep, can cause severe problems.
It is very important to talk with a provider before taking sleep medicines. Avoid sleep medicines, if possible. However, antidepressant medicines can be very helpful if depression affects your sleep. Some antidepressants do not cause the same side effects as sleep medicines. Sometimes, a mild antihistamine works better than a sleeping pill for relieving short-term insomnia. However, most health experts do not recommend these types of medicines for older people.
Use sleep medicines such as benzodiazepines only as recommended, and only for a short time.
- Sleep Patterns
- Sleep & Aging
- Aging changes in sleep
Some of these medicines can lead to dependence needing to take the drug to function or addiction compulsive use despite adverse consequences.