Is Sleeplessness & Memory Loss Common Among the Elderly?

Posted On May 16, 2022

Dr. Parthasarathy Biswas

Consultant - Psychiatrist

Manipal Hospital - Salt Lake

Psychiatry Hospital in Kolkata

While insomnia is perhaps the most common sleep disorder among people of all ages, geriatric people (those aged 60 years and above) are significantly more vulnerable to it. As per research, the quality of deep sleep among older adults is 75% lower than that among younger individuals. Although the amount of nightly sleep that older people need remains the same as that was required when they were younger, their ability to get that sleep declines. 

This is primarily ascribed to various illnesses, the medications that they take for those diseases, sedentary lifestyles and drastic changes in their biological clocks which generally occur as they age. Besides, research has found that ageing eyes also contribute to reduced sleep quantity and quality as with increasing age, the lenses of the eyes are yellow, which is often a symptom of cataract formation. 

As the blue light helps facilitate sleep cycles by fueling the development of the sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin, its reduced absorption due to the yellowing of the lenses affects sleep quality and quantity, which, in turn, makes geriatric people highly vulnerable to various illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Poor sleep quality also leads to memory loss, as it doesn’t allow memories to leave the hippocampus and reach the prefrontal cortex, which is a part of the brain where long-term memories are stored. 

Thus, to mitigate the risks of diseases and memory loss, it is imperative for older people to get an adequate quantity of sleep, which can be achieved by following these tips:

  • Reduce Stress

  • Exercise regularly and avoid a sedentary lifestyle

  • Limit naps during the day

  • Avoid the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, large meals at night and other substances that affect the quality of sleep

  • Develop a regular sleep schedule

However, despite making the above-mentioned lifestyle changes, some older adults may continue to experience mild memory loss or forgetfulness due to the changes occurring in their brain, side effects of medications and illnesses, such as liver, kidney or thyroid disorders. Moreover, with increasing age, some people develop serious memory problems which make it difficult for them to perform routine activities, such as driving and grocery shopping. In such cases, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Sleeplessness and Memory Loss Treatment in Kolkata is available at Manipal Hospital, the hospital is equipped with state of the art technologies and facilities available 24/7. The hospital has a team of psychiatrists in Kolkata who are trained and experts in treating respiratory problems.


Dr. Parthasarthy Biswas

Consultant - Psychiatrist

Manipal Hospital Salt Lake

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