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How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Posted: 3/7/2012 9:27 AM by Interim HealthCare

It's a question we're often asked about in our home health care offices here at Interim HealthCare. Do seniors need less sleep? The answer is no, but they may need a different kind of sleep.

With National Sleep Awareness week falling on March 5-11, it's time to put the myth that seniors need less sleep to the "proverbial" bed. In fact, adults require about the same amount of sleep from their 20s into old age, although the number of hours per night varies from person to person.

However, sleep deprivation can be debilitating and insomnia is sometimes more common in seniors because of health issues, anxiety and even medication. Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, frequent urination and pain from arthritis can also be contributing factors and rob seniors of precious sleep.

Another reason for senior sleep troubles is the timing of rest. As we age, advance sleep syndrome sets in, which causes our internal body clocks to adjust to earlier wake up and bed times.

However, some seniors continue to stay up late as they did in their younger years and sleep deprivation ensures.

The bottom line is that seniors need to sleep and it's important to find the cause of sleepless nights as it could underline more serious health issues. Healthy sleep patterns are important, no matter what age.

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