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Irregular Sleep-Wake Rhythm In The Elderly

Irregular Sleep Wake Rhythm – Rapidly Affecting Elderly

Several elderly people have recently been reported with sleep disorders in which irregular sleep wake rhythm is one of them. This disorder is characterized by missed circadian pattern in sleep wake cycle of a person. As a person ages, several significant changes occur in regulation of circadian rhythm. Apart from, biological changes, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disorder is also very famous in elderly that greatly contribute to irregular sleep wake rhythm. The problem of this disorder is not only limited to neurodegenerative disorder, but a traumatic injury in brain or mental retardation also contributes to encourage this disorder.

How Irregular Sleep Wake Rhythm Occurs

The disorder irregular sleep wake rhythm is a certain result of degeneration neuronal activity of SCN neurons, decreased bright light exposure, structured physical and social activity in daytime and decreased response to circadian clock that entertain activity and light. Having treatment of

Irregular Sleep-Wake Rhythm In The Elderly In The Elderly

this disorder, one can consolidate night’s sleep as well as daytime wakefulness. It occurs by restoring zeitgebers exposure of a patient. Though, if you consider pharmacologic treatments to cure ISWRD, then it may cause negative results. So, using non pharmacological treatments which involve enhancement of social and physical activities, increased light exposure and enhancing hygiene sleep will be successful treatment in this regard.

What Circadian Rhythm Usually Do

There are several functions which circadian rhythm performs. In which sound functioning of sleep wake pattern for 24 hours is one of the most notable function. Apart of it, it performs several hormonal, behavioral and physiological functions. These rhythms occur by SCN which is a paired hypothalamus nucleus in human brain. In human being, light is considered to be the most powerful entertaining agent that affects circadian rhythm, though; the timing of circadian clock can get altered by non photic stimuli too like endogenous melatonin or physical activity. Apart from other functions, it promotes activeness throughout a day and facilitates nocturnal sleep and wakefulness in daytime for 24 hours.

Why Elderly People Suffer From Irregular Sleep Wake Rhythm

It is a fact that irregular sleep wake rhythm occurs in elderly people extensively in comparing with others. The reason for the same is that; aging is a great contributing factor for increasing prevalence of this disorder in elderly. As a person ages, several changes in circadian rhythm occurs which decrease physiological amplitude as well as hormonal circadian rhythms. The aging factor can be considered as a result of decreased activity of SCN neurons or less bright light exposure or less physical or social activity.

Improving Irregular Sleep Wake Rhythm Is Possible With Non Pharmacological Treatment

Getting irregular sleep wake rhythm treated will benefit you in different ways. It helps patients to achieve daytime alertness and desired night time sleep. To treat up this sleep disorder, use of medications or medicines will cause negative results; however getting non pharmacological therapy will be beneficial.