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How much sleep does elderly person need

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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. Older adults often see their sleep-wake cycle change. This can be caused by age, lifestyle, or health conditions. For example, as you age, your body produces less melatonin.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Sleep Problems in the Elderly

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Aging and Sleep Problems

Older People May Need Less Sleep, Study Finds

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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.

Can too much sleep kill you? How sleep deprivation ages you quicker. Children and adolescents need more sleep than adults. Interestingly, older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults -- seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, many older adults often get less sleep than they need. One reason is that they often have more trouble falling asleep. A study of adults over 65 found that 13 percent of men and 36 percent of women take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep.

Also, older people often sleep less deeply and wake up more often throughout the night, which may be why they may nap more often during the daytime. Nighttime sleep schedules may change with age too. Many older adults tend to get sleepier earlier in the evening and awaken earlier in the morning.

There are many possible explanations for these changes. Older adults may produce and secrete less melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. They may also be more sensitive to -- and may awaken because of -- changes in their environment, such as noise. Older adults may also have other medical and psychiatric problems that can affect their nighttime sleep.

Researchers have noted that people without major medical or psychiatric illnesses report better sleep. Not sleeping well can lead to a number of problems. Older adults who have poor nighttime sleep are more likely to have a depressed mood, attention and memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, more nighttime falls, and use more over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids.

Poor sleep is also associated with a poorer quality of life. Many people believe that poor sleep is a normal part of aging, but it is not. In fact, many healthy older adults report few or no sleep problems. Sleep patterns change as we age, but disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging. If you are having trouble sleeping, see your doctor or a sleep specialist.

There are treatments that can help. Sleep disorders can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night and can make you drowsy during the day. The following are the most common sleep disorders among older adults:. It affects almost half of adults 60 and older. Short-term insomnia, lasting less than one month, may result from a medical or psychiatric condition. Or it may occur after a change in personal circumstances like losing a loved one, relocating, or being hospitalized.

If insomnia lasts longer than a month, it is considered chronic, even if the original cause has been resolved.

Many factors can cause insomnia. However, the most common reason older adults wake up at night is to go to the bathroom. Prostate enlargement in men and continence problems in women are often the cause. Unfortunately, waking up to go to the bathroom at night also places older adults at greater risk for falling. Disorders that cause pain or discomfort during the night such as heartburn, arthritis, menopause, and cancer also can cause you to lose sleep.

Medical conditions such as heart failure and lung disease may make it more difficult to sleep through the night, too. Neurologic conditions such as Parkinson's disease and dementia are often a source of sleep problems, as are psychiatric conditions, such as depression. Although depression and insomnia are often related, it is currently unclear whether one causes the other. Many older people also have habits that make it more difficult to get a good night's sleep.

They may nap more frequently during the day or may not exercise as much. Spending less time outdoors can reduce their exposure to sunlight and upset their sleep cycle. Drinking more alcohol or caffeine can keep them from falling asleep or staying asleep. Also, as people age, their sleeping and waking patterns tend to change. Older adults usually become sleepier earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. If they don't adjust their bedtimes to these changes, they may have difficulty falling and staying asleep.

Lastly, many older adults take a variety of different medications that may negatively affect their sleep. Many medications have side effects that can cause sleepiness or affect daytime functioning. When severe, these disorders may cause people to wake up often at night and be drowsy during the day. Snoring is a very common condition affecting nearly 40 percent of adults. It is more common among older people and those who are overweight. When severe, snoring not only causes frequent awakenings at night and daytime sleepiness, it can also disrupt a bed partner's sleep.

Snoring is caused by a partial blockage of the airway passage from the nose and mouth to the lungs. The blockage causes the tissues in these passages to vibrate, leading to the noise produced when someone snores. There are two kinds of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when air entering from the nose or mouth is either partially or completely blocked, usually because of obesity or extra tissue in the back of the throat and mouth. If these episodes occur frequently or are severe, they may cause a person to awaken frequently throughout the night. This may disrupt their sleep and make them sleepy during the day.

Central sleep apnea is less common. It occurs when the brain doesn't send the right signals to start the breathing process. Often, both types of sleep apnea occur in the same person. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common among older adults and among people who are significantly overweight. Obstructive sleep apnea can increase a person's risk for high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, and cognitive problems.

However, more research is needed to understand the long-term consequences of obstructive sleep apnea in older adults. Both of these conditions cause people to move their limbs when they sleep, leading to poor sleep and daytime drowsiness. Often, both conditions occur in the same person. Restless legs syndrome is a common condition in older adults and affects more than 20 percent of people 80 years and older. People with RLS experience uncomfortable feelings in their legs such as tingling, crawling, or pins and needles.

This often makes it hard for them to fall asleep or stay asleep, and causes them to be sleepy during the day. Although scientists do not fully understand what causes restless legs syndrome, it has been linked to a variety of conditions. Some of these conditions include iron deficiency, kidney failure and dialysis, pregnancy, and nerve abnormalities. Periodic limb movement disorder, or PLMD, is a condition that causes people to jerk and kick their legs every 20 to 40 seconds during sleep.

One study found that roughly 40 percent of older adults have at least a mild form of PLMD. It is somewhat more common in men over the age of REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep, is the most active stage of sleep where dreaming often occurs. During normal REM sleep, the eyes move back and forth beneath the eyelids, and muscles cannot move.

In more severe forms of REM sleep behavior disorder, the muscles become quite mobile and sufferers often act out their dreams. Many primary care providers can diagnose sleep disorders and offer suggestions and treatments that can improve your sleep. Before you visit the doctor, it may be very helpful for you to ask for and keep a sleep diary for a week or more. A sleep diary will give you and your doctor a picture of your sleep habits and schedules and help determine whether they may be affecting your sleep.

During your appointment your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and may have you fill out questionnaires that measure the severity of your sleep problem. It is also helpful to have your bed partner come with you to your appointment since he or she may be able to report symptoms unknown to you like loud snoring, breathing pauses, or movements during sleep.

Since older people are more likely to take medications and to have medical problems that may affect sleep, it is important for your doctor to be aware of any health condition or medication your are taking. Don't forget to mention over-the-counter medications, coffee or caffeine use, and alcohol since these also may have an impact on your sleep. The doctor will then perform a physical examination.

During the exam the doctor will look for signs of other diseases that may affect sleep, such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, heart disease, or obesity. If your doctor feels more information is needed, he or she may refer you to a sleep center for more testing. Sleep centers employ physicians and others who are experts in problems that affect sleep.

A polysomnogram is a test that measures brain waves, heart rate, breathing patterns and body movements. A common sleepiness test is the multiple sleep latency test. During this test, the person has an opportunity to nap every two hours during the daytime. If the person falls asleep too quickly it may mean that he or she has too much daytime sleepiness. It is important to remember that there are effective treatments for most sleep disorders. If you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder, your doctor may suggest specific treatments.

You should ask for information to find out more about your condition and ways to improve your sleep. There are a number of therapies available to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Or, you could limit the time spent in bed while not sleeping, and use bright lights to help with circadian rhythm problems.

Sleep in the Elderly: What is Normal?

With aging, sleep patterns tend to change. Most people find that aging causes them to have a harder time falling asleep. They awaken more often during the night and earlier in the morning. Total sleep time stays the same or is slightly decreased 6. It may be harder to fall asleep and you may spend more total time in bed.

Over a typical lifespan, the amount of time we spend each day sleeping declines. Newborns spend from 16 to 20 hours asleep each day. Between the ages of one and four, total daily sleep time decreases to about 11 or 12 hours.

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.

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. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. This content does not have an English version.

Do Aging People Need Less Sleep?

Daytime sleepiness is very common among elderly people. But excessive daytime sleep in the elderly can also point to impaired nighttime breathing and other sleep disorders. As you begin your search, use this easy to understand guide to help you better understand your options. Advanced Filters search.

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Thyroid Health for Seniors: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located in the lower front of the neck. Its function is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. While there is no cure for COPD, senior adults affected by this condition can take steps to slow progression of the disease and improve their quality of life.

Aging changes in 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. While sleep requirements vary from person to person, most healthy adults require 7.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How aging really affects your sleep

If you are a caregiver for a senior, or even just have elderly people in your life, you may wonder about their sleeping habits. You may feel like the elderly in your life are sleeping a lot, or sleeping too much during the day. Unfortunately when it comes to sleep in the elderly, what is normal may not necessarily be what is healthy. Excessive sleep or daytime sleeping in the elderly are all related to sleep disorders and can be helped. A pervading myth related to sleep claims that elderly adults need less sleep than the average adult.

Sleeping well at 100 years of age: Study searches for the secrets to healthy longevity

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.

Aug 2, - Not only does stress affect our sleep patterns, but stress in itself has also Study after study has shown that caregivers need a good night's sleep just as much as elderly person sleeping a lot; when seniors sleep all day.

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.

Hard Facts About Sleep Problems in the Elderly

A study in the May 1 issue of the journal Sleep is the first to examine sleep issues in a large sample of exceptionally old adults, including nearly 2, people who were years of age and older. Results show that about 65 percent of the sample reported that their sleep quality was good or very good, and the weighted average daily sleep time was about 7. Surprisingly, the oldest adults aged and above were 70 percent more likely to report good sleep quality than younger participants aged 65 to 79, after controlling for variables such as demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status and health conditions.

Excessive Sleep in the Elderly

Old people are known to be lousy sleepers, but a new study suggests it might all be in their heads, at least for many of them. Medications, poor health, bad bedtime habits such as watching a movie or drinking coffee or booze , circadian rhythms, and too much or too little in their personal "sleep bank" have all taken the blame for seniors' common complaints of insomnia. Elizabeth Klerman of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School set out to clear it up once and for all with a controlled study of 18 subjects ages 60 to 76 and 35 younger subjects, ages 18 to 32, all healthy and not on medication that might affect sleep.

Though changes in sleep patterns are part of the normal aging process, sleep problems are known to cause an increase in dementia, falls and even mortality in seniors.

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.

Elderly Don’t Need As Much Sleep, Study Finds


Changes in Sleep with Age


Comments: 1
  1. Tygom

    Bravo, what necessary words..., an excellent idea

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