Q: In the last few years, I've found my sleeping patterns to be majorly disrupted. I spend more time lying awake in bed and find myself waking up in the middle of the night.
Several friends have shared their similar experiences with needing less sleep, but I'm pretty sure I'm not getting enough.
How much sleep do seniors need?
A: There's no one answer that will suit everyone. Figure out how much sleep is best for you.
The amount of sleep you need is personal and variable. Sleep patterns do change with age, and you will have to find your new equilibrium.
Many seniors are comfortable sleeping on the lower end of the average -- about seven-and-a-half hours per night. However, this is an average and may not be ideal for you. Experts have found that many seniors are sleep deprived.
Quality sleep, not just the quantity, is essential. A good night's sleep will allow you to function well during the day.
To get enough sleep, aim to achieve "deep sleep" every night. Don't wake in the middle of the night.
One major change with aging is your body's internal clock. Seniors do best with earlier wake and bedtimes. Many seniors find it difficult to stay asleep past a certain hour of the morning.
Night owls are more likely to experience sleep deprivation, as they go to bed at their accustomed time but wake up earlier. The lost sleep hours add up and take a toll on the body.