Understanding Sleep Problems in Middle Adulthood
As people get older, sleep patterns can change, creating a variety of sleep problems. Sleep experts suggest middle-aged adults get at least seven hours of sleep every night. But the changes of middle adulthood may cause people to get less sleep overall and reduce the amount of time spent in deep sleep, a sleep stage that helps a person wake feeling refreshed.
Common Sleep Problems in Middle Age
Common sleep problems during middle adulthood can include, reduced sleep time, earlier wakings, more daytime naps, increased nighttime awakenings, and reduced deep sleep. It is important to note that while men may be prone to spending less time in deep sleep, people of all genders can experience more sleep problems with age.
Multiple factors can play a role in sleep problems during middle adulthood, such as weight gain, medication side effects, mood changes, and other health issues, which all become more common during the mid-life stage. Additionally, people who menstruate tend to experience more issues, particularly during perimenopause and menopause.
Managing Sleep Problems During Middle Adulthood
To better manage sleep problems during middle adulthood, experts suggest having a consistent sleep schedule, reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding large meals too close to bedtime, and getting adequate aerobic exercise during the daytime. Additionally, people can alleviate stress levels by having a comfortable sleeping environment and trying relaxation techniques before bedtime.
Practicing good sleep hygiene can help improve sleep quality and overall health. Additionally, a doctor's visit might be beneficial, especially if any medication is causing sleep disturbances. Talking to a doctor about the options available to manage sleep problems during middle adulthood is a great place to start.
Sleep problems are normal during middle adulthood, but that doesn't mean they are unavoidable. With smart sleep habits, relaxation techniques, and potentially some medical intervention, people can improve their sleep quality and overall health.