Getting older is associated with changing sleep patterns that lead to reduced stages of restful sleep as well as increasing periods of wakefulness. Sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea also increase with age. Identifying and managing sleep disturbances are important because a lack of sleep can contribute to depression, memory impairment and physical illnesses.
Until recently, the health consequences of sleep deprivation were not fully appreciated. Now we know that over half of all older adults complain of significant sleep disturbance and that these disturbances can have serious health consequences.
There are many non-drug treatments for getting better sleep. Try these strategies instead of over-the-counter or prescription medications: