How Your Sleep Schedule Changes as You Age

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How Your Sleep Schedule Changes as You Age

Bogan Sleep Consultants in Columbia, SC, can help if you're concerned about the quality of your sleep.

Sleep is a necessity for everyone, but our needs change with age. We start life needing more sleep than anything else - the average baby sleeps more than fourteen hours a day! Including naps, a typical child can sleep 10 to 12 hours a day. By the time we hit teenage years, most people have settled into a pattern of 7 to 9 hours a night on average.

As you age into an older adult we need about the same amount of sleep, but it's normal to have more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. As we age we produce less growth hormone, the substance that helps developing children sleep so deeply. Older adults also produce less melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep. Stress takes a cumulative toll on us as we age, and all these factors mean we don't sleep as deeply or as much. Many seniors are only getting 6 to 7 hours a night. If you are getting even less, it's time to call Bogan Sleep Consultants in Columbia, SC.

Sleep as a process cycles through multiple stages multiple times a night, and a good night's sleep is actually made up of four or five sleep cycles. Periods of shallow, dreamless sleep are followed by a deep, dreaming state known as rapid eye movement or REM sleep. As deeper sleep becomes harder to achieve, we spend more time in the shallow stages of sleep when it is much easier to wake up.

While the kind of sleep you're getting changes as you age, this can come along with changes in your sleeping schedule. Because our circadian rhythms change as we age, many seniors experience the transition from a 'night owl' to an 'early bird." The reason for this change isn't completely understood but it is normal for seniors. Another change seniors experience is needing afternoon naps. Naps aren't bad for you, but sleeping too much during the day will only cause more problems at night.

Insomnia can happen to anyone but is more common in older adults. If you are having trouble sleeping, contact Bogan Sleep Consultants in Columbia, SC. Give us a call at (803) 251-3093.

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