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Suncatcher's avatar

Aging sleep needs?

Asked by Suncatcher (7points) September 18th, 2013

Do women in the U.S. typically need more or less sleep as they age? If more, why?

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6 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Haha…perfect timing. 9:19 on the west coast, and yes, this almost 54 yr. old woman needs 9 hours to feel optimum. People with active minds need more sleep too. It’s not always true that brighter people often need less sleep. I need more!

Nitey nite! zzzz

snowberry's avatar

I feel better when I can get 8 hours of sleep a night, but I usually get between 4 and 6. Eight hours a night is cause for celebration. I am 58.

gailcalled's avatar

We need, on average, the 8 or so hours we have always needed. The problem is being able to sleep as deeply and as well as we did when we were younger. Many older folks, both men and women, have chronic insomnia.

I listen to books on CDs in the dark with my eyes closed, in bed. I have heard a lot of books over the past ten years.

JLeslie's avatar

Depends what age we are talking about and it varies by individual of course. Generally, we need more sleep as children than as adults. Think about it, the younger we are the more our cells are growing and dividing and multiplying, and sleep is a restorative time for us. Women during pregnancy also usually require more sleep. My sleep needs became less when I got into my 40’s, but also my sleep is more broken, before that age I almost never woke in the middle of the night, but I also have thyroid problems now, which sort of artificially affect my sleep.

I think the averages are something like 11–12 hours for older infants and toddlers, with the majority of sleep at night, but with naps during the day. Grade school we need 9–10. Teens need 9–11. Adults 7–9. I was a perfect 9 hour sleeper most of my life. If I was shorted sleep, I eventually made it up that day with a nap or within a few days, and it always worked out to 9 hours, until my 40’s as I mentioned. Sleep tends to be in 1.5 hour cycles, literally if I nap it is usually for 1.5 or 3 hours. 9 obviously a multiple of that sort of cycle. But, now I often only get 7–8 and don’t need to nap to get the full 9 that I used to.

rojo's avatar

at 59 my wife sleeps about 7 hrs a night on weekdays. She tries for longer on weekends but usually only adds 30 minutes extra. Some habits are hard to break I guess.
Her mom at 88 claims she only sleeps about 5 hours a night, which may be true but does not take into account the naps during the day and when we visit, it is not unusual for her to nod off for 30 minutes at a time while watching tv in the evenings. I would guess that she probably gets at least 7 hours sleep in a 24 hour period.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Research suggests that older adults require less sleep than they did when they were younger.
Older adults who are socially isolated due to constrained finances or social isolation may sleep far more than they actually need as a way to fill available time.

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