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Does Sleep Break Down As You Age?

Posted On September 10, 2014
September 10, 2014

Missing the good old days where you could just sleep in and get all of the rest that you require? Well don’t feel bad, most adults are not getting the proper amount of sleep every night. You might think that as you get older you don’t need as much sleep, but you would be wrong. Researchers still say that everyone should be getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night to stay healthy. So how well have you been sleeping since you’ve aged?

Believe it or not, there has been a growing trend in the research community over the last few years about the connection between aging and sleep. According to a recent article published on, there has been increasing evidence about the presence of a number of sleep disorders that occur as we age. Which brings up the question, just how much does sleep break down as you age?

The Aging Changes of Sleep

Changes in our sleep – what specialist’s call “sleep architecture” – occur as we age and this may contribute to sleep problems. Sleep normally happens in several stages. The sleep cycle includes periods of light and deep dreamless sleep or active dreaming stages known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This whole process can happen periodically during the night. This is necessary for us to feel fresh and rested when you wake up.

There is no doubt that as a person ages, sleep patterns will change. Aging can contribute to a more difficult time falling sleep, and causing people to wake up more often during the night. Not getting enough sleep can keep a person from functioning properly during the day. Unfortunately, many adults often get less sleep than they need. One factor that adults are having trouble with is not being able to fall asleep right away. In fact, a study found that adults over 65 found that 13 percent of men and 36 percent of women can take up to almost 30 minutes to fall asleep.

There are different factors that occur that cause sleep break down as you age. Here are some of the more common factors to sleep breaking down:

  • Adults may produce and secrete less melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.
  • Changes in the environment.
  • Medical or psychiatric problems can create sleep loss. (Such as medication side effects, insomnia, sleep apnea and more.)


It is important to remember that you need a good night’s rest. As you get older, sleep might become more difficult. If you are experiencing these effects, be sure to talk your doctor about what programs are available today. If you have sleep apnea and would like to learn more about other treatment options other than CPAP, we can help. Please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.

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