Sleep Changes in Older Adults

Thursday, June 15, 2017

As we age we often experience changes in our sleeping patterns, such as becoming sleepy earlier, waking up earlier or enjoying less deep sleep. Dr. Edward Hill discusses these sleep changes in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Most adults need seven or eight hours of sleep each night to feel fully alert during the day. But as we get older, we might have more trouble sleeping.

Older adults might get sleepy earlier in the evening. Older adults may have insomnia. They might wake up very early in the morning and not be able to go back to sleep.

By the time an adult is over 65 years old, his or her sleep-wake cycle may not seem to work as well as it did when he or she was younger. As we age, our body makes less of the chemicals and hormones that help us sleep well.

Smoking and drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks can cause sleep problems.

Illness, pain and certain medicines can also keep a person awake.

In many cases, you can improve your sleep by addressing emotional issues, improving your sleep environment and choosing healthier daytime habits. It may take some experimentation to find the specific changes that work best to improve your sleep.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.