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A Good Night's Sleep: NIHSeniorHealth Offers Helpful Information

Armen Hareyan's picture

I have trouble falling asleep. Is that what I should expect at my age? Why do older adults wake up at night? When should I see a doctor about a sleeping problem? What are some suggestions for getting a good night's sleep? Now, information about sleep and aging is only a mouse click away at www.nihseniorhealth.gov The Web site also offers hints for sleeping well. For example, exercising regularly improves the quality of your nighttime sleep and helps you sleep more soundly, and doing the same things each night tell your body that it's time to wind down.

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Like food and water, adequate sleep is essential to good health and quality of life. Not sleeping well can lead to a number of problems. For example, older adults who have poor nighttime sleep are more likely to have a depressed mood, attention and memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, more nighttime falls, and to use more over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids. Sleep problems also are associated with a poorer quality of life.

"Although sleep patterns change as we age, disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging. In fact, many healthy older adults report few or no sleep problems," says Andrew A. Monjan, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief of the Neurobiology of Aging Branch of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).