Watch today's CBS Sunday Morning's story about sleep and naps here called " Napping: You Snooze, You Win! " , or read the story below.
Are you getting enough sleep? Today, in an effort to better understand the role of sleep in our lives, I ask a very basic question: What happens when our heads hit the pillow at night?
Most likely you’re overworked. You’re stressed out, you haven’t had a vacation in a while, and you’re sleeping less. You’re waking up earlier and going to bed later in an effort to get more done. According to a recent NPR story, Americans are even taking less vacation to accomplish more. Some are even doing significant work while on vacation. And there is a ton of research that shows how Americans are sleeping less and less, year over year.
Many older adults tend to have trouble sleeping, but for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, they have an even harder time. Alzheimer’s may reverse a person’s sleep-wake cycle, causing daytime drowsiness and nighttime restlessness. As Alzheimer’s continues to progress, these sleep disturbances often increase. With more severe forms of dementia, people tend to be sleepier during the day, which can cause their sleep at night to become fragmented and disrupted. It is common for people suffering from both dementia and Alzheimer’s to constantly wake at night and fall asleep during the day.