Sleep and Aging

Sleeping and Aging

Sleep and aging are interrelated topics. Everyone needs sufficient sleep to function well during the waking hours, and this does not change as you age.

Sleep gives the body a chance to rest and to replenish its energy.
A lack of sleep can lead to lower tolerance for the daily stresses of life. In addition to this, insufficient sleep can lead to decreased awareness of one's environment and slowed response time, which can lead to accidents.

The changes in sleep needs and other sleep information as one ages are not well known, but should be. There are few things as important to our overall health as a good night's sleep.

Sleep and Older Populations

Seniors need roughly about as much sleep as younger adults. This means that to function at your best you probably need from seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you don't get enough sleep then you're likely to have problems.

These problems may include attention, memory, and mood difficulties. Insufficient sleep can contribute to depression and irritability. It may cause excessive daytime sleepiness and may lead to falls at night or during the day. Basically, insufficient sleep can drastically impact the quality of your entire life.

The Patterns of Sleep

Problems falling asleep and trouble staying asleep are not a natural part of the aging process. Most seniors experience a change in their sleeping patterns as they age, but not in the quantity or quality of sleep. Many older adults do not experience any sleep problems. Of course, this can be affected by overall health, but still many enjoy undisturbed sleep.

Older adults are more likely to wake up at night to go to the bathroom. This can be a problem because older adults are also more likely to experience falls at night.

Your patterns are likely to change as well. It's common for older adults to become tired earlier in the evenings. Consequently, it's common for older adults to wake up earlier in the mornings. Adjusting your sleep patterns to this schedule can help you to maintain your quality of sleep.

Sleep and aging affect each other, but not as much as you might think. When it comes to sleep disorders in elderly populations experience their share, but many elderly persons enjoy the same quality of sleep that they always have. If you take care of yourself, you may never be too old to get a good night's sleep.


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