How Aging Affects Your Sleep and What To Do About It

Sleep studies show that with aging, many people have a harder time falling asleep. They also awaken more often during the night, averaging three or four awakenings each night. This may happen because they spend less time in deep (REM) sleep and because they may be awakened by pain from an injury or illness or they may need to get up to urinate.

Because of changes to circadian rhythms, they also may find that they become sleepy earlier in the evening and wake earlier in the morning than when they were younger. Total night time sleep time decreases but some of this may be made up for with increased daytime napping. Some older adults also report being less satisfied with sleep, having more daytime sleepiness, and feeling more tired during the day.

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