Many older adults find that their old sleeping patterns no longer work well. Others find that, with changes in medication and activity, their sleep cycles may be more easily disrupted than in times past. Finally, life changes can lead to emotional stress, which can also cause insomnia and poor sleep overall.
Symptoms and causes of fatigue in older adults
An older adult who is not getting enough sleep may also suffer from
- poor emotional control
- depression or anxiety
The confusion may lead to isolation and resentment, which further limits the ability to manage any anxious thoughts that do start to spin, especially as the person starts to try to sleep.
Illnesses that can cause fatigue in seniors
There are many conditions that have fatigue as a secondary symptom. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is known to cause inflammation and pain, but many sufferers also struggle with low energy. Dietary and activity changes can contribute to anemia, which can also lead to consistently low energy.
Additionally, there are many seniors who don’t change their diet and supplementation patterns as they age. Older tissues need more antioxidants, more antioxidant minerals and more of Vitamins C & E.
Can emotions also cause fatigue?
Retirement is a huge change in any life. When choosing to retire, you may be facing money worries, a loss of socialization, and concerns about where you will spend your time. Such a heavy load of emotional concern can lead to anxiety and depression, which can have an impact on your sleep quality and your ability to easily fall into deep sleep.
If you have found that your golden years are full of doubts, or if you are feeling hopeless, understand that it is not at all uncommon to fall into depression after a big life change. However, the medications that can help to manage your depression can hurt or help your sleep. Medications for anxiety can stop the spin of thoughts that contribute to insomnia.
Because seniors often face a taboo when asking for help with regard to emotional challenges, the risk of suffering in silence may be higher than for other demographics. However, the difference between crippling insomnia and quality sleep could be as close as a counselor or the right anxiety medication. Poor sleep is very hard on the brain. Addressing this worry is key to best brain health.
Ways To Increase Energy
If a senior is newly retired or moving into retirement, setting up a routine is critical to their best health, whether awake or asleep. The tips below can make a huge difference.
Exercise: Many seniors have the chance to sleep in. While allowing your sleeping pattern to change can be beneficial, your body still needs to move to stay limber and boost your spirit. Aim for 2.5 hours of moderate exercise every week, such as a brisk walk, or 1.5 hours of vigorous activity each week. Feel free to split this up, but try to be done before dinner so you can wind down to sleep.
Emotional control: As we age, many things fall outside our control. You may not be able to work as hard as you once did, care for your home, or fix things. Being willing to step back from projects that have now become hazardous can actually add years to your life and increase the quality of that remaining time. Be honest with yourself about when you need to ask for help.
Supplements, including HGH therapy: It is normal for our strength to slowly wane as we age. However, if you notice a large loss of strength, flexibility or muscle mass, you may be facing a health challenge tied to the pituitary gland. Discuss your concerns with your doctor. You may regain strength with a prescription for all the best HGH injections. Only a blood test can determine a Growth Hormone deficiency.
Stay motivated: As noted above, change is tough. If your social structure was mostly tied to your career, aging out of the workplace can be dangerously isolating. If you like to work, look for volunteer opportunities you can use to put your skills to work for the causes you love. If your living situation doesn’t allow for a pet, volunteer at a shelter. If you don’t have space for a garden but want to learn, volunteer at your local arboretum or find an organic farm that needs laborers.
Get professional help: Anxiety can lead to depression, and depression can be fatal. Talking to a counselor about your poor sleep, anxious thoughts, insomnia or other challenges can save your life. If you are not depressed but are feeling at loose ends, consider working with a retirement coach who can help you through this time of transition.
Lifestyle changes: For those who have long looked forward to retirement, the option to spend your days exactly as you wanted can be exciting. For others, all this flexibility can be overwhelming. Consider starting a journal of your needs, wants and dreams so you can manage your resources, from money to energy, effectively..
Why is chronic fatigue unhealthy and dangerous?
Chronic fatigue adds both isolation and uncertainty to life. It’s hard to make plans with friends if you don’t know how much energy you will have at your disposal from day to day. Setting up a regular pattern of good food, moderate exercise, and a regular waking and sleeping time is a very good start to managing your fatigue.
What chronic fatigue can lead to?
General aging, chronic illnesses, and chronic fatigue can all put you at risk of suicide. If you are struggling to get along with a family member, close friend or your partner, your social circle can shrink quickly. Health challenges including chronic fatigue and other energy-draining health conditions can increase this risk of despair and self-harm.