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Getting a Better Night’s Sleep as You Get Older

By Sara Butler

When you hit 40 things can change for you. What once worked as a part of your routine may not, especially when it comes to sleeping. As you age you will go through changes in your sleep patterns such as waking up earlier, going to bed earlier and waking up tired. Learning how to roll with these sleep punches is important since getting good quality sleep is important to your overall health and wellness. Here are some tips to help you sleep better as you get older!

Why Sleep Is Important As You Grow Older

Sleep is important for everyone, but as you get older it plays an even bigger role in your health. In older adults, getting a good night’s sleep helps to improve your concentration, improve memory, allows your body to repair and rejuvenate and keep your immune system healthy. If you don’t get enough sleep you risk suffering from depression, memory and attention issues, and excessive sleepiness during the day. You can also experience health problems and increase your risk of diabetes, obesity, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.

How Much Sleep?

How much sleep you need per night depends on a lot of things and varies from person to person, but for the most part healthy older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. You should judge if you’re getting enough sleep by how you feel in the morning versus how many hours of sleep you’re getting. If you wake up a lot in the night and you don’t feel rested in the morning, then you’re probably not getting enough sleep.

Sleep Changes as You Age

If you know what changes to expect as you grow older then you’ll know how to respond to the changes when you feel them happening. One of the ways you change as you get older is your body doesn’t produce as much growth hormone, therefore you won’t get as much deep sleep as you did when you were young.

This means you also produce less melatonin, so you might wake up more throughout the night, go to sleep earlier and take naps during the day. These are pretty normal changes, so don’t be alarmed by them.

You will be able to identify a problem with your sleep that warrants a trip to the doctor if:

  • You’re under a ton of stress.
  • You’re depressed.
  • You feel anxious or worry a lot.
  • You’ve gone through a traumatic experience recently.
  • You have pre-existing health problems that might interfere with sleep.

If any of those apply to you, talk to your doctor -- or confess them to your chirorpractor at The Joint Chiropractic!

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