How Aging Changes Your Sleep Patterns

If you are over age 65 and noticing that your sleep is not what it used to be when you were younger, you are not alone.

Many older adults tend to notice changes in their sleep as they age, and at least half experience at least one sleep issue, whether it’s insomnia, sleep apnea or something else. Older adults may also notice they take more frequent naps and spend less time in deep sleep. Rest assured, this is completely normal.

Good quality sleep for older adults is essential to your overall well-being, especially as newer health issue come to light with age.

Here are four factors that may contribute to changes in sleep patterns amongst older adults:

Poor sleep habits: This is very common with older adults, whether you are newly retired and figuring out your new normal, or just enjoying more downtime than before. Make sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, and that you practice good sleep hygiene.

Medications: This is a common problem for many older adults that is easily treatable. If you take medication for other health issues and you are noticing it’s affecting your sleep, make sure you speak to your doctor for advice.

Stress: Aging tends to bring on many life changes, between loosing a loved one, moving, or dealing with an unexpected health condition, all of which can negatively affect your sleep. Make sure you find ways to properly cope with stress, and make sure you seek external help if necessary.

Lack of physical activity: Staying active into your golden years is important, and sleep may not come easily if you are not getting in enough daily movement. While you may not be able to keep up with the physical activity you did when you were younger, make sure you find activities that you enjoy and will help you to get in your daily movement.

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