Just as our hair will likely turn grey and wrinkles will probably adorn our faces, as we age many of us can expect to encounter sleep changes.\r\n\r\nThese sleep and aging changes can result in waking up throughout the night, becoming sleepy earlier, and awakening earlier than we used to.\r\nSleep and Aging Statistics\r\nAs many as 50 percent of seniors experience some sort of sleep disturbance as they embark on their golden years.\u00a0 And according to the National Institute of Aging, a good number of seniors are not getting enough sleep. One of the reasons that many seniors are sleep deprived is in their trouble in falling asleep. More than a third of women and 13 percent of men reported taking more than an half an hour (30 minutes) to fall asleep (sleep latency), according to a study the institute cited.\r\n\r\n\r\nWhy These Sleep and Aging Changes\r\nFortunately, there are some plausible explanations to the sleep pattern changes many elderly adults experience. As adults age, their body produces -- and secretes -- less of the \u201csleep hormone\u201d melatonin.\u00a0 In addition, older adults may have medical conditions that cause them pain or restrict their painless movement during sleep, which affects the quality of their nighttime sleep. Certain medications may be stimulating, which can disrupt and interrupt sleep.\r\n\r\nFurther, some older individuals quite often don\u2019t sleep as deeply (i.e. Stages 3 and 4, and REM sleep) as they did in their younger years, causing them to wake up more frequently during the night; this is referred to as fragmented sleep.\u00a0 This results in many seniors feeling the need to take a daily afternoon nap. Lastly, most seniors are \u201cretired\u201d. This may mean that their days aren\u2019t filled with as many physical\u00a0 or mental activities as when they were younger which had \u201ctired them out\u201d more.\u00a0 Other life situations, such as the death of a spouse or moving out of their lifelong home can be a source of sleep problems.\r\n\r\n\r\nTips for Better Sleep As You Age\r\nFortunately, there are things that you can do as a senior to get more quality shut eye as you age:\r\n\r\n1) Participate in aerobic exercise during the morning or afternoon, if approved by your physician. A recent study by the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University found that aerobic exercise improved the duration and quality of sleep in middle-aged and older adults.\r\n\r\n2) Avoid napping if possible.\r\n\r\n3) Consider a light bedtime snack that is believed to help promote sleep.\r\n\r\n4) Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least three to four hours before bedtime.\r\n\r\n5) Keep a regular bedtime and wake up time each day. Consider using a sleep diary to keep track.\r\n\r\n6) Invest in a quality, comfortable mattress.\r\n\r\nRemember, waking up tired every day is not normal, and can affect the quality of your golden years. If you are consistently having trouble sleeping, and the above tips haven\u2019t helped, it\u2019s important to discuss your sleeping problems with your doctor or a sleep specialist.\r\nLink to Us!\r\nIf you found this article useful and shareable, please copy and paste the following into the html code of your website or blog:\r\n\r\nLearn More about Getting a Better Night's Sleep and Good Sleep Hygiene at <a href"https:\/\/www.plushbeds.com\/blog\/sleep-science\/sleep-and-aging\/">Plushbeds Green Sleep Blog<\/a>.