Do older people need more sleep?

Do older people need more sleep?

Unfortunately, many of my older friends don't get the sleep they need, because they often have more trouble falling asleep. A recent AARP study of adults over 65 found that 13 percent of men and 36 percent of women take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep.

Many people believe that poor sleep is a normal part of aging, but it is not. Sleep patterns change as we age, but disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging.

Here are some pointers to help you get better sleep:

  1. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time, even on weekends. Sticking to a regular bedtime and wake time schedule helps keep you in sync with your body's circadian clock, a 24-hour internal rhythm affected by sunlight.
  2. Try not to nap too much during the day — you might be less sleepy at night.
  3. Try to exercise at regular times each day. Regular exercise improves the quality of your nighttime sleep and helps you sleep more soundly. Try to finish your workout at least three hours before bedtime.
  4. Don't drink alcohol to help you sleep. Even small amounts of alcohol can make it harder to stay asleep.
  5. Develop a bedtime routine. Do the same things each night to tell your body that it's time to wind down. Turn off devices and/or your TV about an hour before bed and wind down.

Remember, If you are so tired during the day that you cannot function normally and if this lasts for more than 2 to 3 weeks, you should see your family doctor or a sleep disorders specialist.

As many of my friends at Danbury will attest, living on a regular schedule of meals, exercise, and social activities can help establish a healthy sleep pattern. Give usa call to learn more!

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