Sleeping Better with Age

Q. Do older people need more sleep?

Seniors need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults—seven to nine hours a night.

A. Unfortunately, many older adults don’t get the sleep they need, because they often have more trouble falling asleep. Also, older people often sleep less deeply and wake up more often throughout the night, which may be why they may nap more during the daytime.
Nighttime sleep schedules may change with age too. Many older adults tend to get sleepier earlier in the evening and awaken earlier in the morning.

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. If a person has trouble sleeping, they should see their doctor or a sleep specialist.

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