Sleep and Aging
Trouble sleeping? Get our best tips for maintaining healthy sleep as you age.
Popular wisdom says that adults need less sleep as they get older. At first, this might seem quite reasonable. After all, many older people do seem to turn into early risers, waking up easily at 5, 6, or 7 AM no matter how late they go to bed. But if older people really don’t need as much sleep, why then are they such accomplished nappers?
The truth of the matter is that your sleep requirements do not change with age. You still need between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep, no matter how many candles were on your last birthday cake.
However, it can be difficult to get a full night’s sleep as you get older. A variety of factors can contribute to this issue:
- Less Melatonin: It’s common for melatonin levels to decrease with age. Since melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleeping and waking cycles, naturally this poses problems. Low melatonin is the reason older adults have trouble falling asleep and often wake up early.
- Less Growth Hormone: The deep, oblivious sleep of childhood comes from growth hormone. By adulthood, our bodies are no longer producing high levels of this hormone and deep sleep becomes more elusive.
- Menopause/Andropause: The hormonal changes that occur at menopause and andropause can affect sleep in a number of ways. You may suffer from insomnia for purely hormonal reasons as well as have trouble sleeping due to symptoms like anxiety, hot flashes, and night sweats.
Easy Ways to Improve Sleep Quality & Quantity
Exercise : Healthy exercise helps prime the body for sleep. It can also help control health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure, which can otherwise interfere with sleep.
Get Some Sun : Regular exposure to sunlight is crucial for supporting your ability to produce melatonin. Aim for about two hours per day.
Cut Out Stimulants : You’ll want to cut back on things that keep you up at night, such as caffeine and “screens.” Avoid watching TV or using your computer before bedtime as this can cause sleep issues.
Limit Napping : The ideal nap is about 20-30 minutes long. If you nap for longer than this, it’s going to affect your ability to sleep at night. The same is true for napping too close to bedtime, so never nap within 3 hours of your normal bedtime.
Boost Melatonin : Our Melatonin Liposomal Spray offers another way to help you get the melatonin you need for better sleep. As a bonus, boosting melatonin can help strengthen your immune system and your mood.
Balance Your Hormones : If andropause or menopause symptoms are interfering with your sleep, you should definitely consider hormone replacement therapy as a means of relieving these symptoms so you can rest. At Renew Youth™, we offer a variety of treatment options for men and women.
If you would like to learn more about promoting healthy sleep and healthy aging, please contact us at 800-859-7511.