How Sleep Changes with Age

A man and a baby sleeping in bed together

As kids, most of the time they don’t want to go to bed and fight it. As adults, we can’t wait to settle in after a long day. Our attitudes about bedtime aren’t the only things that change. Sleep patterns and habits change as people get older.

Less Sleep

One of the changes is people find it harder to fall asleep as they get older. They often wake more in the middle of the night. The person may need to get up to the bathroom and not be able to fall back asleep for some time. They are more likely to wake up earlier as well. Fortunately, studies show that people require less sleep with age. Instead of the 8 to 9 hours or more they got as teens and young adults, they get around 6.5 to 7 hours on average.

Lower Quality of Sleep

The problem with less sleep for adults is the quality of sleep can go down as well. Waking often means they don’t get into the deep sleep which allows their system to recover from the day. They may wake feeling tired instead of refreshed.

The result is a person that’s more fatigued and less alert. They may struggle mentally and even emotionally as well as physically because they aren’t rested. One way to deal with this issue is by massage therapy. A regular massage can relax the body and mind, allowing them to be better prepared for a restful night of sleep.

Exercise earlier in the day can be beneficial as well. Being active gets the blood flowing and helps the body to feel more naturally tired, so the person can fall asleep faster. Sleep is essential for a healthy life, and it’s important to deal with the changes as a person gets older.