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Why Better Sleep Gets Harder the Older You Get

Senior man sitting on edge of bed looking frustrated while senior woman sleeps behind him

By Anica Oaks

As you age, many things in your life change, and unfortunately your ability to get a good night’s sleep may be on this list. Since sleep patterns change as you get older, you may find yourself more tired than in years past, and are wondering why this is occurring. If you’re curious as to why you’re yawning more during the day and wishing you could take a nap now and then, here are some common reasons why better sleep gets harder as you get older.

Changes to Your Daily Schedule

If you have already retired or are getting close to this time in your life, you likely have experienced some major changes to your daily schedule. As a result, you may have fewer responsibilities day-to-day and thus have more flexibility in getting things done. While this sounds great, the result can be disruptions to your sleep patterns, resulting in insomnia or other sleep issues.

Health Conditions

Unfortunately, health problems are often a natural part of getting older, and can be contributing factors to your sleep problems. Some conditions that are usually related to sleep issues in older adults include arthritis, diabetes, and acid reflux disease. For many people, sleep apnea is also found to be the underlying problem behind not getting a good night’s sleep. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, CPAP machines can be a tremendous help in solving your problems.

Infrequent Exercise

If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, your lack of activity could be a significant reason why you are having problems sleeping as you age. Even if you were very active while you were younger, chances are you are now living a more sedentary lifestyle. If so, this makes it harder for you to not only fall asleep at night, but also to stay asleep all night. To remedy this problem, get active by walking, cycling, playing a sport, or even doing some gardening or housework on a regular basis.

Stress and Anxiety

While there are many great things associated with getting older, some things that happen can lead to stress and anxiety, such as the death of a loved one or financial pressures following retirement. If you find yourself being anxious and stressed out more and more as you age and having one thought after another racing through your mind at night, getting a good night’s sleep can become almost impossible.

If a good night’s sleep is something you long to experience once again, work hard to find out what is at the root of your problem. Once you do, falling asleep will be easier than you ever imagined.

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