What to Ask: Sleep Problems
Tools and Tips
Older adults often have problems sleeping, including experiencing daytime sleepiness, difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, and waking up very early in the morning. Sleep problems decrease quality of life and can lead to injury or other health conditions.
The following are questions you can ask your healthcare professional about sleep problems:
- I don't sleep so well since I've grown older. Is this normal?
- How much sleep do I need now that I'm older?
- It takes me longer to fall asleep now that I'm older. Is this part of aging?
- I waken a lot now during the night. Is this a problem?
- I dream a lot more than I used to. Does this matter?
- Is there anything other than medications that will help me sleep better?
- Will exercising really improve my sleep?
- When is the best time of day to exercise to help me sleep?
- Which exercises are best at helping sleep?
- Would stopping smoking improve my sleep?
- I enjoy a nightcap in the evening. Will this affect my sleep?
- I have a cup of coffee after dinner. Will this affect my sleep?
- How do I know if I have a sleep disorder?
- I feel sleepy most days. Can this be improved?
- I sometimes fall asleep suddenly during the day. Do I need to stop driving?
- My legs twitch and I have strange feelings in them when I go to bed. Is there something I can do to alleviate this?
- My partner says I jerk about a lot when I'm asleep. What should I do about this?
- My partner says I snore loudly for a lot of the night. Is this a sign I have a sleep disorder?
- My partner says there are times when I stop breathing at night. What should I do about this?
- I've been feeling down recently and not sleeping well. Can this be helped?
- I fall asleep in front of the TV, then can't seem to sleep at night. What should I do about this?
- Are there safe medicines I can take to help me sleep?
- What are the side effects of sleep medicines?
- One of my friends takes tranquillizers. Would this make me less anxious and help me sleep?
- Would taking a nap during the day make me feel better?
- I wake up each night when I lie on my right hip - it aches and wakens me. What should I do about this?
- I have heard that bright light during the day helps to improve sleep. Would bright lights help me?
- Does practicing relaxation improve sleep?
- Does meditation improve sleep?
- Should I try to sleep late on weekends when I'm less busy?
- I sometimes am wakened by coughing in the middle of the night. Is this a sign of a problem?
- I sometimes waken in the middle of the night feeling I cannot breathe. What should I do about this?
- Is it safe to take melatonin to help me sleep?
- If I use a herbal remedy for sleep could it interact with one of my other medicines?
QUESTIONS ABOUT SLEEP APNEA
- What is “sleep apnea”?
- How is it diagnosed?
- Can it be treated?