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How Health Changes With Age - The Things That Aren't Discussed Enough

Everybody knows that your health changes as you age, and many people know what the specific health changes are. It is commonly discussed that the person's memory declines as they age and that they are generally less able to exert themselves physically. Once you've lived for a good number of years, your body starts to give way to the environment you have lived in for such a long time. So you need to watch your heart and bone health. But keeping healthy is not necessarily more difficult when you are older, you just need to apply some new techniques. It is still important to exercise sufficiently and eat healthily, making sure you get the nutrients you need to maintain your body's biological processes. If you’d like more information on some of the essential nutrients your body needs and how to make sure you're getting them, you can visit Research and You, which contains scientifically accurate information for many of your health needs.

Anyway, everything discussed so far is basically common knowledge, but there are some things that not everyone is told in their lifetime about the health changes that are associated with aging. These are what this article will discuss.

Your Sleep Cycle Changes

You may have noticed that older people tend to doze off during the day and might be more tired than younger individuals. The reason for this is that their sleep cycle is more fragmented. This means that, for a number of reasons, they get less total sleep and are woken up more often during the night. This is because of a whole number of reasons, which range from changes in hormone cycles to contributions from medical disorders. The hormone that governs the sleep cycle is called melatonin and it tends to be released earlier in the day in older individuals causing them to want to go to bed earlier. The problem with this is that they want to wake up earlier then and may find themselves awake very early in the morning. They might try to fall back asleep and this can change the rhythm of this sleep cycle. Other contributing factors include: waking up due to hot flashes in the case of menopause, waking up to go to the bathroom due to an enlarged prostate or weaker bladder and waking up due to pain.

Your Immune System Needs A Little More Help

An unfortunate reality of aging is that your body becomes less competent at fighting off infections. Scientists have shown that the number of immune cells in the body decline as we age and they become less functional too. There are a number of reasons that are currently being discussed as to why this happens, and they include that the immature cells (stem cells) that are responsible for producing the immune cells have an internal DNA mechanism that reduces their production over time, probably to avoid the risk of them becoming cancerous. Another similar idea suggests that damage to the DNA over time from radiation and oxidizing chemicals causes the stem cells to become less robust and eventually decline.

But this doesn't mean that you are less functional as a person when you age, it just means you have to take such precautions like influenza vaccinations and making sure you get enough vitamins.

Aging Can Affect Your Mental Health

It's probably a worry of every aging person and their children that their cognitive ability starts to decline and their risk of dementia or other neurodegenerative disorders increases, but that's not what is being discussed here. So many people are worried about and know about cognitive problems but not that many are aware that anxiety and depression rank highly in problems that affect elderly people. This could be due to a number of contributing factors such as fear of mortality or loss of purpose. It could also be due to the chronic health issues that an older person is facing like high blood pressure or increased risk of a heart attack. The problem is that these health conditions tend to mask the symptoms of a mental health problem and they're not screened for as often as in younger people. So if you or your loved one are noticing any of the signs of mental health issues, then it is best to act quickly and get that person speaking to a professional as soon as possible.