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We’ve all heard at one point or another, “you need 8 hours of sleep each night”. But is this the truth for everyone? We all have different needs for our health which constantly change through our lives. The benefits of sleep are clear, but do seniors really NEED a certain amount each night? Keep reading to discover how much sleep should an elderly person get.

How Important is Sleep for Seniors?


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Sleep is incredibly important for seniors, as it plays a vital role in overall health and well-being. As we age, our sleep patterns tend to change, and we may find it more difficult to get a good night’s rest. However, getting enough quality sleep is crucial for seniors to maintain physical health, mental clarity, and emotional stability.

There are several reasons why sleep is particularly important for seniors. For one, sleep helps our bodies to repair and regenerate, which is important for maintaining good health as we age. Sleep is also essential for cognitive function, memory consolidation, and learning, all of which are crucial for seniors who may be dealing with age-related cognitive decline.

In addition, seniors who don’t get enough sleep are at a higher risk for a range of health problems, including depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Sleep also plays a role in immune function, so getting enough rest can help seniors to stay healthy and ward off illness.


Benefits of More Sleep in Seniors

Sleep is important for seniors for a variety of reasons, and getting enough quality sleep can provide a range of benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of sleep in seniors:

  1. Improved cognitive function: Sleep is essential for cognitive function, memory consolidation, and learning. Seniors who get enough sleep may have better focus, attention, and problem-solving skills.
  2. Reduced risk of depression and anxiety: Seniors who don’t get enough sleep may be at a higher risk of depression and anxiety. Getting enough quality sleep can help to improve mood and reduce stress levels.
  3. Better immune function: Sleep plays a key role in immune function, and seniors who get enough rest may be better able to fight off illness and infection.
  4. Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Lack of sleep has been linked to a range of chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Seniors who get enough quality sleep may be at a lower risk of developing these conditions.
  5. Improved physical health: Sleep is essential for physical health, and seniors who get enough rest may have better balance, coordination, and flexibility. They may also be at a lower risk of falls and other accidents.
  6. Enhanced emotional well-being: Seniors who get enough quality sleep may experience improved emotional stability, reduced stress levels, and an overall sense of well-being.

How Much Sleep Should an Elderly Person Get?


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The amount of sleep needed can vary from person to person, but in general, if you’re wondering how much sleep an elderly person should get, seniors should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night ( However, individual factors such as health status, medication use, and lifestyle habits can affect the amount of sleep needed.

Some seniors may find that they need more sleep than this, while others may function well on slightly less. The key is to pay attention to how you feel during the day and adjust your sleep habits accordingly. If you find that you are constantly feeling tired or groggy during the day, it may be a sign that you need more sleep at night.

It’s also important to remember that seniors may experience changes in their sleep patterns as they age. For example, it’s common for older adults to experience lighter, more fragmented sleep, and to wake up more frequently during the night. This can be a normal part of aging, but it’s still important to aim for enough sleep overall to support good health.

How Seniors can Safely Get More Sleep


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We’ve established the benefits of more sleep in seniors, with a minimum 7-9 hours recommended by the National Institute of Health. If you or a loved one aren’t reaching that 7 hour minimum, there are safe and natural ways to get more sleep. Seniors who are struggling with sleep can take several steps to improve their sleep habits and get more restful sleep. Here are some tips for seniors who want to get more sleep:

Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help regulate your body’s internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Make sure to include a relaxing bedtime routine that helps you wind down before sleep. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing.

Make Your Bedroom Sleep-Friendly

Create a sleep-friendly environment by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in comfortable bedding and consider using blackout curtains or a white noise machine to block out distractions. Clear up clutter and other distractions that may prevent your mind from achieving a restful state.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep, so it’s best to avoid them in the hours leading up to bedtime. If caffeine and alcohol have become routine, opt to switch them with a nice sleepy-time herbal tea.

Stay Active During the Day

Regular exercise is great for elderly people. From improving mobility and reducing back pain, to optimizing cognitive function, exercise is a must for aging men and women. But did you know that exercise can help improve sleep quality as well? According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Recent research indicates that exercise decreases sleep complaints and insomnia in patients. The effects of aerobic exercise on sleep appear to be similar to those of sleeping pills,” so aim to stay active during the day. Just be sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as this can interfere with sleep.

By making these changes, seniors can improve their sleep habits and get the restful sleep they need to support good health and quality of life.

Help With Senior Sleep in Southeast Michigan

Difficulty sleeping, insomnia, and other sleep conditions are very common in seniors. For those living alone or with limited care, resolving issues with sleep can be difficult. If you are in southeast Michigan and are considering extra care for an elderly loved one, contact Suncrest Senior Living, a small-group assisted living community. The professional at Suncrest can address a number of age-related conditions including lack of sleep brought on by illness or lifestyle.

*This article contains partial AI-generated content


Suncrest Senior Living


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This information was provided by Suncrest Senior Living. Suncrest offers memory care and assisted living care with several home-based locations in Southeast Michigan.

Interested in learning more about Suncrest Senior Living? Contact Suncrest online, or call at (248) 207-5378.

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