In general, older people sleep less, wake up and go back to sleep more often, and spend less time in REM sleep compared to younger people.
Aging: Causes of Sleep Problems In The Elderly
Here are several reasons that cause sleep problems in the elderly:
If you don’t keep a steady schedule for going to bed and waking up, it can affect your body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) and make it even harder to get good sleep. Also, at any age, if you nap too much, or stay in bed when you’re not sleeping, that will cause insomnia.
Sleep disorders: Besides insomnia, these include apnea, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, and REM behavior disorder.
Too much downtime. Many people stay active well into their golden years. But if your days are too idle, you may find it harder to get good sleep. Keep as busy as possible with a variety of activities.
Aging: Get Enough Sleep
If you have noticed that your lack of sleep affects you during the day, there are steps you can take to get better rest. Many are simple tweaks to your daily routine, like setting a regular bedtime, being more active, and reducing stress.