Sleeping Patterns Change with Age

Many older adults have reported being less satisfied with their sleep than they were when they were younger. Insomnia and other sleep problems don’t have to be a part of aging, and there are steps you can take to sleep better well into your later years.

Your sleep patterns are controlled by your body’s internal clock. This clock helps determine when you feel sleepy and when you feel awake. As you get older hormonal changes and natural changes in your body clock cause shifts in your sleep patterns.

These changes in your sleep patterns shifts are thought to be why older adults tend to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier than younger people and could also be the reason that older adults nap more during the day and awaken more frequently during the night.

Talk to your doctor. If you have a health condition that is making it difficult for you to sleep, getting it treated may help you sleep better.

Limiting caffeine and alcohol can also help a person get a better night’s sleep. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, since these substances can interfere with your sleep patterns. Try setting a sleep schedule and make sure that the mattress you sleep on is comfortable. An adjustable bed may just be what you need to get a full night’s rest.

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