Health Tip: Why Some Seniors Can't Sleep

Fewer 'sleep hormones' produced as we age

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(HealthDay News) -- Older adults still need seven or eight hours of sleep each night to feel rested and refreshed in the morning. But getting that much sleep poses a challenge for many elderly people.

The American Academy of Family Physicians mentions these common causes of sleep problems among seniors:

  • Age-associated changes in the sleep-wake cycle.
  • Age-associated reduction in the body's production of "sleep hormones," such as melatonin.
  • Smoking and increased consumption of alcohol or caffeine.
  • Pain or illness.
  • Taking certain medications.
  • Disorders such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.

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