Sleep Myth About Older People: Debunked

Healthy Sleep, Sleep Myths

Sleep Myth: Seniors Sleep Less

Sleep is a natural and essential part of people’s lives. It is considered as a period of rest to conserve energy. It is also a subject that people think they know a lot about.

Plenty of myths surround sleep. These myths continue because they appeal to common sense or practices that have prevailed for multiple generations. As a result, many people believe these myths with firm conviction. One, in particular, is the idea that seniors sleep less.

Do you think seniors sleep less? Let’s find out.

The Myth

How much sleep do you need as an adult? A common belief is that the younger you are, the longer your sleep should be and the older you are, the less shuteye you need.

The Fact

As you age, it becomes more challenging for you to get the same amount of sleep. You will probably experience fragmented sleep patterns as you age. This results in sleeping lighter and waking up more often. Many seniors sleep earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning.

A study may shed light on the belief that seniors get fewer hours of sleep. A lot of older people often have trouble falling asleep. 13% of men and 36% of women aged 65 years old and above take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. As people age, the body produces lesser amounts of melatonin, the hormone needed to promote sleep.

Since older people sleep less deeply and wake up more often during the night, they tend to take more naps during the day. In essence, seniors, more or less, get the same sleep as younger adults.

Verdict

The idea that seniors sleep less is untrue. Various reasons cause inadequate shuteye for seniors, but they catch up on sleep during the day. They need the same 7 -9 hours of sleep as other adults.

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