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How do sleep patterns change with age?

As people age, they're more likely to experience a bad night's sleep for a variety of reasons. Insomnia is a common complaint, striking 1 in 4 people over the age of 65. Awakening during the night, perhaps to use the bathroom, becomes more frequent. Medication can affect sleep habits as well. Biologically, older adults need less sleep, but their sleep cycle shifts so that they feel sleepier earlier in the evening and awaken earlier in the morning. They also take longer to fall asleep. Some adults reporting a poor night's sleep might just be trying to fall asleep like they used to instead of adjusting to their body's new rhythms.

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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.