Uncategorized | April 7, 2021
It is perfectly normal for sleeping patterns and habits to change with age. However, waking up too often in the middle of the night, being tired after waking up, and experiencing other symptoms of insomnia is not considered a normal part of aging.
Insomnia is very common among all age groups, but seniors are mostly affected by it – as much as 25% of adults older than 65 report symptoms of insomnia and poor sleep. The tricky part is that a lot of seniors think they have insomnia because they do not sleep as well as they used to when they were younger – but not sleeping as well as when they were younger does not actually mean they suffer from insomnia.
This may sound confusing, so let us take a closer look at what are normal sleeping changes in senior years. To begin with, seniors often go to bed earlier in the evening and also wake up earlier in the morning. This is considered normal, due to the changes in the internal body clock that regulates sleep. It is also normal for seniors to become light sleepers, that is to spend less time in deep sleep (and to sleep less overall). And if a senior wakes up during the night, it is also nothing to worry about – seniors sleep as much as 15% less than younger adults.
If you or a loved one are experiencing these problems with sleep, it is fairly easy to solve them. But if the problems are caused by serious health conditions like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, depression, arthritis, or by side effects of medications, it is best to consult with a medical professional.
So, how can you sleep better or help your loved one get a good night’s sleep? Here are some tips that may help:
If none of these tips help, you should consider talking to a doctor. But for most seniors, changing a couple of lifestyle habits should do the trick, drastically improving their sleep and overall wellness, too.