Contrary to popular opinion, older people don't need less sleep than the average person. Although the number of hour per night varies with each individual, adults require about the same amount of sleep in their 70’s as they did in their 20’s. Many older adults get much less sleep than they need, for a variety of reasons.
Insomnia is more common for seniors, in part due to health issues, anxiety and the concerns of aging, and sometimes because of medication. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome also increases with age. Frequent urination and the pain from arthritis are more common, too, and rob sleep from seniors.
Another reason for senior sleep difficulties lies in the timing of rest. As adults age, advanced sleep phase syndrome sets in, causing the body's internal clock to adjust to earlier bed and wakeup times. But some seniors continue to stay up late, as they did in their younger years. Sleep deprivation is often the result.
It's important to find the root cause of sleepless nights, especially if sleep issues are masking deeper medical problems. See your doctor if you're not
getting restful sleep at night. Healthy, restful, sleep is something we should expect at all ages.