Changes In Sleeping Pattern As You Grow Older

As the body changes with time, it also affects the sleeping pattern. This is a common aging process. Over time, it may even cause trouble in falling asleep then it was when you were young. Some research demonstrates that changes in sleeping patterns happen throughout our life. So, what causes people to be awake? Read below and get answers to all your sleep problems.

Sleep occurs in many different stages. The sleep cycle may include:

  • Short periods of light and deep sleep
  • Some active dreaming (also refer as REM sleep)

This might occur several times at night. But it occurs at different intervals.

How much Sleep is Essential?

Generally, there is no right amount of sleep. Some may need two times of sleep in a day. While some may just need it for one time at night. Still, experts believe that a person must have at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

If you have less sleeping habits now than when you were younger, then it is because of your growing age. Adults may feel high on energy even after getting limited sleep as compared to children.

Aging causes changes in Sleeping Pattern

As you age, it is common to notice changes in sleeping patterns.

The total sleep for the day should be for around 6.5 to 7 hours per night. You may find it hard to fall asleep at the night. Hence, it disrupts your sleep pattern.

The time spent in sleepless and dreamless sleep might fluctuate. On average, older people wake up for 3 or 4 times each night. Also, they hardly get restful and deep sleep.

The changes in the sleeping pattern among older people can be the fact that they can’t get deep sleep. Also, it may be because of urination, anxiety, and uneasiness or pain because of long-term illness.

Sleep deprivation can also have other reasons. It can be due to confusion and change in mental state. It can be treated when you get enough restful sleep.

This is also the most common symptom of depression. To know whether you have any of these problems, consult the doctor.

Common Problems

Sleeping Pattern

Here are a few problems related to changes in sleeping patterns.

  • Insomnia can be one common sleep problem. It is mostly found in older people.
  • Sleep disorders may cause restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, or hypersomnia.
  • Sleep apnea can cause during the night when breathing stops for a time. This may also source severe problems.

Prevention of Changes in Sleeping Pattern

Older people might respond differently to different medicines. So, no one best medicine can treat the changes in your sleeping pattern. 

Share your details with the doctor to get the right medicines. And if possible, avoid the usage of sleeping medicines. You can opt for antidepressant medicines. They do not have any side effects on your health.


Only take the sleep medicines after consulting with your doctor. Else it may cause several other problems such as:

  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Falls (when you take for a long time)

Tips to Sleep tight and Control Irregular Sleep Patterns

  • Have a light snack just before bedtime. This will help you with comfortable sleep at night. You can prefer to take warm milk. It helps in increasing sleepiness as it has a natural, sedative-like amino acid.
  • Take a warm bath. When you come out from the hot water bath, your body temperature drops. This may make you feel tired. And you would want to relax and go to sleep.
  • Avoid taking tea, coffee, cola, and chocolates for at least 4 hours before bed. These may make you stay awake for long.
  • Indulge in light exercises during the afternoon time.
  • Be calm before going to bed. You must avoid watching violent shows, TV, or computer games just before sleeping. Take time to relax and then go to sleep.
  • Follow a regular sleeping schedule. Go to bed for sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time.
  • Avoid taking afternoon naps. If you have slept in the afternoon, then it may not make you sleepy at night.
  • If you don’t fall asleep even after 20 minutes of going to bed, do some activities. Reading books or listening to music would be a great help.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol to feel sleepy. Though it may help you fall asleep afterward it wakes you up in the middle of the night. It’s because of the effects of the worn off of booze.

Therefore, the above tips might help you get relieved to control the changes in your sleeping patterns.

Also, you must not take your irregular sleeping or insomnia as a normal problem. Though it comes as you get older but it would be helpful if you take all these precautionary measures. Just focus on getting restful sleep at night. It will diminish all other associated problems.

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