Sleep Deprivation: A Nuisance Slips the Radar
Sleep deprivation is a phenomenon that is least studied but has a real impact as one ages. Sleep is rest and comfort. It is a time to rejuvenate the body and the mind. By definition, sleep is a state of rest for the mind or body so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness. (Free Dictionary, 2014). As a nurse, I have come across many patients who go through several days and nights without sleep. Yet, interventions to promote sleep, have been the most often ignored in hospitals and nursing facilities. The environmental issues of noise, nursing routines and nurses, themselves, contribute to this problem. What about in the community? How rampant is this problem of sleep deprivation? The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reported one or more symptoms of insomnia in 46 % of persons aged 65-74 and 50% of those aged 75-84 with napping rates at 39-46%. Studies on the role of sleep deprivation to the development of dementia are imperative to address this very important issue that impacts health. It occurs in any age and gender, although more frequently in older women. If you have this issue, please consult with someone who specializes in sleep. Medication is one treatment modality that has a long list of complications and is not advisable in the long-term. Investigate what is available out there while the problem is early.