Sleep & Aging

Sleep is a crucial piece of our health that may often be ignored when life gets busy. However, sleep is necessary for emotional and cognitive functioning as well as memory and learning. The problem is, though, that as we age, even as much as we try, sleep may not be what it used to be. There are many factors that can go wrong when it comes to sleep and rest as our bodies age and change, which compounds any other health problems that can develop due to aging. It is important to keep track of your sleep patterns, so you know when you need a change.

What Happens to Sleep When You Age?

As you may already know, sleep occurs in various stages. These stages repeat many times in one night. Some stages are lighter sleep, and some are deeper sleep. Many studies have shown that as we age, we spend more time in lighter sleep rather than deeper sleep. Other health problems and life circumstances may interrupt the ability to get enough sleep as well.

Common Age-Related Sleep Issues

• Frequent night awakenings
• Frequent need for napping
• Dissatisfying sleep
• Difficulties getting to sleep
• Wakefulness too early in the morning
• Snoring
• Circadian rhythm disorders

How to Improve Sleep While Aging

The above may make you feel like all hope is lost, but luckily, there are some ways in which you can improve your sleep at any age. Good sleep takes work, but it can be achieved and is well worth it. You can increase your productive sleep by:

• Exercising
• Limiting naps to 30 minutes a day or less
• Increasing exposure to bright lights, or the sun during the day
• Limiting liquids in the evening
• Sleep on a consistent schedule

Contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group

Having trouble with sleep and want to talk with an experienced physician? Contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group for an appointment at 214-919-0757.