How Many Hours of Sleep Do Seniors Need?

Mike Olmos by Mike Olmos | Licensed since 2010
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This article was updated on: 09/15/2018

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How many hours of sleep you need decreases with age but only up to 18 years, according to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Infants need up to 16 hours of sleep a day; teens need up to 10 hours of sleep a day, and adults aged 18 years and older need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day.

How many hours of sleep do seniors need?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, it’s a common misconception that a senior’s sleep needs decline with age. On the contrary, research indicates that sleep needs remain constant throughout adulthood. That means if you go to bed at 11:00 PM, a healthy wakeup time would be 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM. If you go to bed at 9:00 PM a health wakeup time would be 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM.

What is the importance of getting how many hours of sleep you need?

According to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sleep plays a vital role in physical and mental functioning. Less sleep at night was associated with risk of:

  • Poor physical function
  • Decreased cognitive function
  • Falls and fractures
  • Mortality

Insomnia is a major cause of auto accidents and depression, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

What factors influence senior sleep?

After age 60, nighttime sleep tends to be shorter, lighter, and interrupted by multiple awakenings, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Seniors spend less time in deep, dreamless, sleep, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  Seniors also average three or four awakenings a night. This may be because:

  • Seniors are more likely to take medications that interfere with sleep, according to NINDS
  • Seniors may suffer from restless leg syndrome, according to NINDS
  • Senior women may experience nighttime hot flashes as a symptom of menopause, according to the Mayo Clinic
  • Seniors may suffer from insomnia, according to the National Institute of Health
  • Seniors may be awakened by their partner’s snoring
  • Seniors may experience sleep apnea according to the Mayo Clinic
  • Seniors may wake up two or more times in the night to urinate (nocturia), according to the Mayo Clinic
  • Seniors may experience changes in circadian rhythms, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine

The prevalence of sleep disorders also tends to increase with age, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Do you have questions a Medicare plan that may cover sleep problems?

To request an email with information prepared just for you or to schedule a phone call at your convenience, click one of the links below. You can see some of the plan options in your area you may qualify for by clicking the Compare Plans button.

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