There is no doubt that sleep is important to achieving optimal health. But what amount of sleep is best? Although this seems like a simple question, there is no simple answer! We know that sleep duration and quality decrease with age. On average, older adults get about 7 hours or less of sleep each night, which is slightly less than the 7-8 hours averaged in young adulthood and middle age. While it’s important to note that sleeping patterns are unique to each individual, they can also be a symptom of health problems, including neurodegenerative diseases, unhealthy weight and associated sleep apnea, and side effects from medication. In general, minor sleep disruption does not require further evaluation. However, if your sleeping patterns are significantly disrupting your quality of life, it’s worth discussing with your doctor. Take a look at our resources on this topic below.