One of the drawbacks of getting older (or, as I prefer to call it, “getting better with age”) is the inevitable shift in your sleeping patterns. For some, it means having trouble falling asleep. Others report a decrease in the amount of deep sleep they get during the night. Passing the 65-year-old mark may also bring with it daytime fatigue for some.
Is a lack of quality sleep, however, the only explanation for feeling exhausted (even when not engaging in strenuous activities)? Or are there any other causes of fatigue in older adults that you should be aware of?
If you’re having trouble getting through the day, here are a few possible causes you should investigate.
Before we get into the various DIY methods for determining what’s causing your exhaustion, we must first recognize that fatigue might be a symptom of a larger problem.
According to a Columbia University research, daytime weariness affects 12 percent of men and 22 percent of women over the age of 65. This study discovered a direct correlation between a lack of energy and poor health, with those who are tired the most likely to suffer from:
- joint problems
- urinary incontinence
- hearing problems
- social isolation
Furthermore, the study highlighted weariness as a symptom of chronic illnesses such heart disease, arthritis, anemia, kidney issues, thyroid insufficiency, and pulmonary dysfunction (including sleep apnea).
With this in mind, the best course of action is to see your doctor if you’re exhausted on a frequent basis. You can begin taking efforts to assist yourself feel more energy during the day after they’ve completed a thorough examination and ruled out any chronic medical conditions.
Poor Sleep Hygiene
Whether you’re 35 or 85, failing to follow a good sleep hygiene routine is one of the quickest ways to wake up exhausted.
No, this does not need going to bed as soon as the sun sets. However, when it comes to rest, it does involve adhering to a few ground rules.
Try to avoid large meals before bedtime, in addition to the usual advise of avoiding alcohol and coffee after 4 p.m.
Also, make sure your bedroom is a comfortable location to sleep. That means blackout curtains, a comfortable mattress, good air quality, and a slightly lower temperature.
Finally, try to prevent blue light exposure after sunset (this may be the most difficult component of maintaining good sleep hygiene). That means no television in the bedroom, no cool white lights throughout the house, and, most importantly, no portable devices in bed.
While most people associate stress with feeling nervous or jittery, we frequently overlook the fact that it may also cause weariness in our bodies and minds. Especially if we are exposed to it on a regular basis.
Are you going through a difficult time in your life? Do you have a tendency to become concerned over seemingly insignificant events? If that’s the case, finding techniques to de-stress might be a good idea.
For you, this could mean attending a yoga class, learning to plant, organizing a weekly get-together with your friends, or simply letting go. Whatever strategy you choose, keep in mind that stress management will only benefit your life. One of them could simply be an increase in your daily energy levels.
One of the most important lessons Covid-19 taught us was that there are few things more stressful than not being able to engage with others. Whether you’re a social butterfly or an introvert, regular human connection is a necessary aspect of living a healthy, happy life.
With this in mind, adding a few more opportunities to socialize to your daily routine is a good idea. (Even if it means avoiding some of your responsibilities.)
Make an effort to communicate with those in your immediate vicinity more frequently. Look for opportunities to meet people who share your interests. Also, don’t be too quick to dismiss new ways of staying in touch. Yes, we understand that FaceTime and Zoom don’t compare to a good old-fashioned get-together. They are, nevertheless, considerably superior to nothing, as science can verify.
Lack of Exercise
Many of us underestimate the detrimental effects of low physical activity levels when it comes to neglected causes of weariness in older persons. However, due to a phenomenon known as deconditioning, not getting enough exercise might make it increasingly difficult to operate during the day.
With this in mind, it’s critical for seniors to maintain their physical condition. If you’re out of shape, the first step is to strive to meet the recommended physical activity standards for older folks.
After that, think about incorporating a more planned fitness routine into your daily routine. You won’t only be investing in your overall well-being this way. You’ll undoubtedly gain psychologically as well.
To Sum Up
As you can see, tiredness isn’t always the result of a lack of sleep. Even if you receive a healthy eight hours of sleep per night, you may still feel tired in the morning.
As a result, you should make an effort to investigate the possible sources of your exhaustion that have gone unnoticed. It will give you a clear path of action whether you identify a single thing that isn’t working or a few unhealthy habits. The best part is that you’ll feel so much better as a result.