Sleep and Aging

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.

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DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of new and old blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with changing public health recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.

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