How much sleep does older person need
The Importance of Staying Hydrated Elderly adults are one of the most at risk groups for dehydration. Signs and symptoms of dehydration can be virtually identical to senile dementia symptoms, age dementia symptoms and Alzheimers symptoms. When we are young and growing, our bodies break down the old bone and replace it with new bone. Around age 30, our bone mass stops increasing and more bone breaks down than is being replaced. Many things change as we get older.
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Seniors and Sleep: How Much Sleep Do Older Adults Need?
Along with the physical changes that occur as we get older, changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process.
As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. It is a common misconception that sleep needs decline with age. In fact, research demonstrates that our sleep needs remain constant throughout adulthood. Sleep occurs in multiple stages including dreamless periods of light and deep sleep, and occasional periods of active dreaming REM sleep. The sleep cycle is repeated several times during the night and although total sleep time tends to remain constant, older people spend more time in the lighter stages of sleep than in deep sleep.
Many older adults, though certainly not all, also report being less satisfied with sleep and more tired during the day. Studies on the sleep habits of older Americans show an increase in the time it takes to fall asleep sleep latency , an overall decline in REM sleep, and an increase in sleep fragmentation waking up during the night with age. The prevalence of sleep disorders also tends to increase with age.
However, research suggests that much of the sleep disturbance among the elderly can be attributed to physical and psychiatric illnesses and the medications used to treat them. In addition to changes in sleep architecture that occur as we age, other factors affecting sleep are the circadian rhythms that coordinate the timing of our bodily functions, including sleep.
For example, older people tend to become sleepier in the early evening and wake earlier in the morning compared to younger adults. This pattern is called advanced sleep phase syndrome.
The sleep rhythm is shifted forward so that 7 or 8 hours of sleep are still obtained but the individuals will wake up extremely early because they have gone to sleep quite early.
The reason for these changes in sleep and circadian rhythms as we age is not clearly understood. Many researchers believe it may have to do with light exposure and treatment options for advanced sleep phase syndrome typically include bright light therapy.
The prevalence of insomnia is also higher among older adults. Insomnia may be chronic lasting over one month or acute lasting a few days or weeks and is often times related to an underlying cause such as a medical or psychiatric condition. It is worthwhile to speak to your doctor about insomnia symptoms and about any effects these symptoms may have. Your doctor can help assess how serious a problem it is and what to do about it. For instance, cutting back on caffeine and napping may help solve the problem.
If insomnia is creating serious effects, complicating other conditions or making a person too tired to function normally during their waking hours, this would suggest that it is important to seek treatment. People with insomnia can experience excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and increased risk for accidents and illness as well as significantly reduced quality of life. Both behavioral therapies and prescription medications singly or in combination are considered effective means to treat insomnia; the proper choice should be matched to a variety of factors in discussion with a physician.
Snoring is the primary cause of sleep disruption for approximately 90 million American adults; 37 million on a regular basis.
Snoring is most commonly associated with persons who are overweight and the condition often becomes worse with age. Loud snoring is particularly serious as it can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea OSA and is associated with high blood pressure and other health problems.
With OSA, breathing stops — sometimes for as long as seconds — and the amount of oxygen in the blood drops, often to very low. This alerts the brain, causing a brief arousal awakening and breathing resumes. These stoppages of breathing can occur repeatedly, causing multiple sleep disruptions throughout the night and result in excessive daytime sleepiness and impaired daytime function.
Untreated sleep apnea puts a person at risk for cardiovascular disease, headaches, memory loss and depression. It is a serious disorder that is easily treated. If you experience snoring on a regular basis and it can be heard from another room or you have been told you stop breathing or make loud or gasping noises during your sleep, these are signs that you might have sleep apnea and it should be discussed with your doctor.
Restless legs syndrome RLS is a neurological movement disorders characterized by an irresistible urge to move the limbs. With RLS, unpleasant, tingling, creeping or pulling feelings occur mostly in the legs, become worse in the evening and make it difficult to sleep through the night.
As we age, there is an increased incidence of medical problems, which are often chronic. In general, people with poor health or chronic medical conditions have more sleep problems. For example, hypertension is associated with both snoring and OSA and heart failure — which affects approximately 5 million Americans — is linked with OSA.
In addition, menopause and its accompanying hot flashes, changes in breathing, and decreasing hormone levels can lead to many restless nights.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD is another common cause of sleep problems. The pain also makes it difficult to sleep. Medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, renal failure, respiratory diseases such as asthma, and immune disorders are all associated with sleep problems and disorders.
Reviewed by Michael V. Vitiello, PhD December Aging and Sleep. Home Sleep Topics Aging and Sleep. This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation Along with the physical changes that occur as we get older, changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process. Popular Articles. How Sleep Affects Your Immunity. Featured Article. How Sleep Works. Few people worry about spending too much time in bed. An extra hour or two of stolen sleep on Sunday can feel like heaven after a long week of work and family activities.
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Sleep and Growing Older
The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. While sleep needs vary significantly among individuals, consider these general guidelines for different age groups:. Some people claim to feel rested on just a few hours of sleep a night, but their performance is likely affected. Research shows that people who sleep so little over many nights don't perform as well on complex mental tasks as do people who get closer to seven hours of sleep a night.
Along with the physical changes that occur as we get older, changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process. As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. It is a common misconception that sleep needs decline with age. In fact, research demonstrates that our sleep needs remain constant throughout adulthood. Sleep occurs in multiple stages including dreamless periods of light and deep sleep, and occasional periods of active dreaming REM sleep.
Sleep Changes in Older Adults
Log In. Join Now Log In. Caregiving Topics Senior Health Articles. Send To:. Your E-Mail:. Your Name:. Your Last Name:. Send Email Cancel. As people age, they tend to sleep more lightly than when they were younger.
Why Does My Elderly Loved One Sleep All Day?
As the U. As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. Older people may also become sleepier in the early evening and wake earlier in the morning compared to younger adults. This pattern, called advanced sleep phase syndrome, means that older people get the same 7 to 8 hours of sleep but they wake early because they have gone to bed early.
Most healthy older adults age 65 or older need hours of sleep each night to feel rested and alert. But as you age, your sleep patterns may change. These changes can cause insomnia , or trouble sleeping.
Aging changes in sleep
Is year olds' secret to longevity sleep? Many seniors sleep like younger adults. Getting older means you sleep better, not worse, study shows. Short sleep linked to aging brain.
The short answer: Grandma needs just as much sleep as you do. After age 18, most adults require seven to nine hours of shut-eye, no matter what decade of life they are in. However, the elderly often fall short of this number. About 44 percent of the elderly population experiences insomnia. The condition is more serious in this age group as it increases the risk of falls and can lead to cognitive decline.
Less sleep for older people
How much sleep we need is largely a mystery, and sleep seems tougher to come by as we age. Many studies — often funded by the pharmaceutical industry — have suggested that we're all sleep-deprived zombies, risking our health for lack of shut-eye. But new research in the U. It also suggests that variations in sleep hours needed are normal and healthy — so long as one is not overly sleepy during the day. Still, researchers warn that many people in modern society suffer from sleep deprivation, and that it can lead to plenty of woes from accidents on the job to higher risk of falls and even death in elderly people. The study, announced today, involved healthy adults who did not have any sleep disorders and didn't complain about lack of sleep. They went through various rounds of sleep and wake periods under varying conditions, and were tested for sleepiness during the wake periods. Age
Along with all the other changes that come with age, healthy older people also lose some capacity for sleep, according to a new report published online on July 24th in Current Biology. When asked to stay in bed for 16 hours in the dark each day for several days, younger people get an average of 9 hours of shuteye compared to 7. The study also found that most healthy people, and young people in particular, don't get as much sleep as they need. The idea that sleep changes markedly across the life span isn't new. In fact, insomnia is a common complaint among older people.
Older Adults Need Less Sleep
Many of us are not getting the right amount of sleep we need. From long hours at demanding jobs, late night Instagram-scrolling and stress-induced insomnia, sleep sometimes becomes a long way down our list of priorities. In , it was estimated six out of 10 British people are sleep deprived, partly because of the advent of smart phones. But how much sleep do you actually need?
Do Aging People Need Less Sleep?
As we age, we often experience normal changes in our sleeping patterns, such as becoming sleepy earlier, waking up earlier, or experiencing less deep sleep. Sleep is just as important to your physical and emotional health as it was when you were younger. Insufficient sleep can also lead to serious health problems, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight problems, and breast cancer in women.
Sleep Tips for Older Adults