While many people assume that seniors require less sleep than younger people, this is not the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people aged 61 and over should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
That said, as we get older, a number of health changes result in aging adults having more difficulty getting a good night’s rest.
As you get older, you may notice yourself having a harder time falling asleep. Many seniors, even those in good health, often report waking up throughout the night and feeling fatigued during the day.
Some other common sleep changes include:
Some of these changes may be a result of fluctuations in hormones and bodily chemicals. Alternatively, they may be related to caffeine consumption or a chronic condition like diabetes. The difficult part, however, is determining which factors are contributing to restless nights.
Not getting an adequate amount of sleep can greatly impact your health. Failure to obtain proper sleep over extended periods of time may cause:
If you’re like many older adults that struggle to get better sleep, you’re not alone. We’ve compiled a list of strategies to help you gain a better night’s sleep.
If sleep deprivation or insomnia persists, this might be a sign of something more serious. In this case, we recommend consulting with your doctor. You may have sleep apnea, hormonal disorders, or other conditions that may require more than sleep hygiene to fix.
Although getting a good night's sleep can be challenging, there are plenty of ways to increase your odds of obtaining it. Start by recording your sleeping habits and making lifestyle changes as needed. This may include reducing your caffeine consumption, or setting up a physical alarm instead of using your smartphone to wake you up. You can also incorporate more movement and daily exercise into your lifestyle and meditate to help you relax.
You might also consider upgrading your mattress. For more information, check out our helpful guides below.
According to the CDC, people aged 61 and over have roughly the same sleep needs — seven to nine hours –– as those aged 18-60.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 30 to 48 percent of older adults have a higher prevalence of insomnia and difficulty maintaining sleep than younger adults.
Seniors can improve their sleep with daily exercise, increasing their water intake, and reducing screen time.