Sleep Disorders in The Elderly

For the elderly, they will always go through a time when they have a particularly difficult time sleeping. Most of elderly people just shun this thought away and they try to get by with their sleep during the remainder of the day. However, for those who are planning to go to a doctor, you might need a little bit of preparation beforehand.

It is important that you will observe your sleeping habits before you go to the doctor because he or she will mostly likely ask you the very same questions that you yourself will be asking during your observation. So in order to fully prepare you for your first meeting with your sleep doctor, here are some reminders.

One of the things that you have to remember is to get a small sleep diary where you will be able to log in the various times that you sleep. You will only do this for about a week so that you will be able to inform your doctor of your sleeping patterns. This will give your doctor a definite picture of what you go through every night.

During your appointment with your doctor, he’ll be asking you about the symptoms that you encounter every night. It’s important that you take careful consideration of how you sleep because your doctor might be asking you several questions through a questionnaire to measure the severity of the sleep problem.

Some of the symptoms to look out for could be loud snoring or different movements and breathing pauses. You shouldn’t forget to mention the different types of over-the-counter medicines and beverages that you use such as coffee or maybe alcohol. This may have a significant impact on somebody’s sleep.

Your doctor will perform a physical examination and he will look for other signs that affect sleep such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke obesity or maybe heart disease. If your doctor feels that even more information is needed, he may need to do some referral. You may need to get an overnight type of study which will involve a polysomnogram which essentially measures brain waves, breathing patterns and heart rates.

One of the common sleepiness tests is the multiple sleep latency test where you will be able to have an opportunity to sleep every two hours during the daytime. If the person falls asleep very quickly, it may mean that the person has too much daytime sleepiness.