How Much Sleep Do Older People Need?

It may seem that as we age, it becomes easier to get a good night’s sleep. The reality is the opposite: the older we get, the more we tend to experience interrupted sleep and we often find it harder to have a lie in. Changes to sleep patterns are a normal part of growing older.

And contrary to popular beliefs, sleep needs do not decline with age. Older people need a good night’s sleep just as much as anyone, at any age!

According to Age UK, because of the way sleep patterns change it is very important for older people to prioritise sleep. They recommend getting a proper rest every night to help maintain wellbeing and mental alertness in later life.

The Health Risks of Poor Sleep

A good night’s sleep supports our health in many ways. As we age, it is very important because a lack of sleep can increase the risk of more serious health issues such as heart disease and fall-related injuries.

Social Interaction in Retirement

It is vital that older people maintain social activities during the day. This is good for wellbeing in general but it is especially vital to have busy days to ensure you are ready for sleep in the evening. Many retired people take up hobbies, do volunteer work or join in on group activities.

5 Tips to Sleep Better as You Get Older

  1. Ensure you get exposure to natural light during the day
  2. Avoid highly caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, in the afternoon
  3. Allow about 3 hours between dinner and bedtime
  4. If you suffer from cold feet, wear thick socks to keep warm in bed
  5. Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes

Sleep Matters at all Ages!

Sleep is just as important to physical and emotional wellbeing as it was when we were younger. 

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