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Do Older People Need Less Sleep?

Posted on 29th May 2019 2 mins to read
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In general, the older we get, the less sleep we get too. Most people put it down to a natural part of ageing. But is that true? Do older people need less sleep or are we damaging our health? Find out how much sleep you should be getting and how to improve sleep quality.

Do Older People Need Less Sleep?

How Much Sleep Should I Get?

From the ages of 0 - 18 years, we need the most sleep. Around 9 - 10 hours per night. This is because our brains are still developing and more sleep is required to recover from the day. Entering into young adulthood, we need less sleep to recover and require an average of 7 - 9 hours per night to function.

So what happens when we reach late adulthood? Contrary to popular belief, we actually need the same amount of sleep the whole way through adulthood. The average 50 - 80-year-old gets around 5 - 7 hours per night. Coming in a few hours under the recommended amount per night. Over time, this can lead to early onset health conditions such as heart conditions and Alzheimer's. Therefore it's important to learn ways to improve your sleep health.

How To Sleep For Longer

If you find yourself undercutting the amount of sleep you need every night. You might be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia affects 90% of us at some point during our lives, with a staggering 44% of that during our senior years. It's especially important to monitor your sleep the older you get to prevent early onset conditions. So, how can you sleep for longer?

Exercise

A huge reason we sleep less in our senior years is because of a lack of exercise. It's important to try and get 20 active minutes per day. Even if it's cleaning the house, gardening or walking the dog. Every bit of movement counts.

Sleep Environment

Your sleep environment is key to a good nights sleep. More than anything, it's important to ensure your mattress suits your sleep needs. In general, the older we get, the firmer the mattress we need. This is because of the extra strain placed on our joints over time. Orthopaedic mattresses are a great solution for prolonged back pain.

Avoid Blue Light

Blue light is the type of light that screens emit. Including televisions, smartphones and tablets. We all tend to watch a bit of t.v before sleep or check our phones. If you're struggling to stay asleep, try avoiding blue light for at least 30 minutes before sleep.

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