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Q: Do older people need more or less sleep?

Posted February 04, 2015 in Adel, Advice Column

A: Adults require about the same amount of sleep as from their younger days, although the number of hours per night varies from person to person. There is a difference between younger and older sleepers:  the timing of rest.  As adults age, advanced sleep phase syndrome sets in, causing the body’s internal clock to adjust to earlier bed and wakeup times. But some seniors continue to stay up late, as they did in their younger years.  Sleep deprivation is often the result.

Seniors may get less sleep than they need due to anxiety, frequent urination, arthritis, restless leg syndrome, medication, sleep apnea – just to list a few.   It’s important to find the cause of sleepless nights, as they can mask a more serious medical problem.

Tips to Sleep Better

  1. Set a sleep schedule – get some sun – daylight helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle
  2. Limit caffeine and alcohol
  3. Take a walk – get some physical activity  in your day
  4. Skip (or limit) naps – if you do nap – limit it to a hour or less

Information provided by Pam Walker, Administrator,  Adel Acres – Skilled Nursing/Rehabilitation and Long Term Care 1919- Greene Str. 515-993-4511

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