Sometimes as you get older, your sleeping might decline and not be as good as it used to be. Sleep experts state that small biological changes leave people in their 50s, 60s and older feeling less refreshed after a night in bed. Quality of sleep changes over time with physical ailments and medicines often making matters worse. A lack of sleep can be associated with many serious medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and obstructive sleep apnea. It is essential that you get proper rest to maintain your health.

The younger years

If you find yourself falling asleep on the bus or in front of the TV, you might not be getting enough sleep. Irritability and poor concentration can also be signs of sleep deprivation. However, 18 to 24 year olds might complain the most about a lack of sleep, but that has to do their with natural body rhythms because they are programmed to want to go to sleep later. At this age, sleep isn’t technically worse.

Midlife lack of sleep

As you reach middle age, many people begin to push themselves even harder as they work full time jobs, raise children and attempt to keep up with the latest TV they are binging. Their primary sleep problem is their own choice because they are choosing to attempt to complete all these activities. As we age, the structure of sleep changes and it begins to take longer to fall asleep.

To add to that, sleep becomes much more fragmented as people get older. You might find that you are waking up slightly a couple times throughout the night when you are 40 years old. And then by the time you’re 60, you might be waking up 20-30 times a night.

Starting in a person’s 40s, sleep apnea typically begins and worsens with age. In fact, sleep apnea increases three-fold after menopause, which poses a risk for many women as they get older. Women often complain more about sleep after menopause, but studies have shown that these women actually sleep longer and more deeply than premenopausal women.

Getting sleep is vital to maintaining your health. Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about the importance of sleep.