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Why do sleep patterns change with age?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
As we get older, our sleep patterns change because of changes in brain chemicals, such as cortisol, growth hormone, and melatonin. These chemical changes cause us to spend more time in the less restful, lighter stages of sleep, and less time in the deeper stages 3 and 4 of non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. That's why, as you get older, you may notice you wake up more easily and more frequently at night, and have a harder time falling back to sleep. Because your sleep is less restful, it's especially important that you don't shortchange yourself on total sleep hours.
The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life

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The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life

The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit tells readers what they need to know to take control of fibromyalgia symptoms. It includes step-by-step instructions for using effective non-drug treatments,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.