A Quick Guide To Sleeplessness In Elderly People And Ways To Overcome It

Adequate sleep is a fundamental requirement of our body, just like food and water. But you can often find people complaining about sleeplessness, especially older people. A disrupted sleeping pattern can cause frustration agitation and ultimately may force a person facing sleep issues to pop in medicines to get sleep. 

But this is not the right thing to do as there are associated risks and side effects of consuming sleeping pills. So how do you combat such an issue in the case of older adults? How do you help ease out sleep disorders

Read on to get a sneak peek as to why old folks fall prey to sleep disorders and ways to conquer such issues: 

Reasons why the elderly find it difficult to sleep

Insomnia can result due to various reasons; sometimes, an underlying disease may be the reason behind the same. Thus you need to identify any such causes in the first place. Depression, anxiety, stress, worries, trauma, the reason can be anything. 

But it is mandatory to find out what is exactly wrong to find a solution to such sleeping problems. Here are a few reasons why senior citizens find it difficult to sleep:

Improper sleeping environment

A sleeping environment is not just about having a bedroom and a couch to drop down for a nap. But it is also the place and conditions that one is exposed to while sleeping. To understand this better, think of a situation when you have a super comfy and neatly organized bed to sleep but what if you get to hear sounds from your neighborhood? 

Think about all the honking sounds and flashlights that you get to hear and see when a vehicle passes by your house. This may, of course, cause interference resulting in poor sleep, right? 

Thus despite having a plush bedroom to sleep in, an inadequate sleeping environment and sleeping habits can cause sleeping disorders hindering your overall health at the same time.

Medical conditions

With aging, generally, people tend to suffer from some or the other medical health conditions. And along with the medical conditions accompanying pain, the need to urinate frequently, and a lot more stumbling blocks that can restrict the sleeping pattern of an oldster. 

Hence, such medical concerns can also result in insomnia and poor sleep. But whatever the rationale, any such thing can hike the stress level in the aged people that may further result in restlessness and insomnia.


Every woman reaches the stage of menopause when they reach old age. But along with the phase of menopause, a woman may also have to suffer associated problems such as hot flushes, sweating, etc. that can cause difficulty in snoozing off.


Stress factor is one of the major reasons that gives birth to lack of sleep. Stress can pop up due to multiple reasons. It may be due to staying away from children, retirement, losing someone close to them, or something as simple as not being able to live the same old life that they used to live once.

Lack of activity

In old age, you will hardly find the seniors engaging themselves in social or physical activities. Though it is not a compulsion, you need to know that social engagement promotes a good night’s sleep. And, the absence of any such activities in life can again cause a shortage of sleep.

How to combat sleeplessness?

The above-mentioned reasons stand to be the top factors that cause complications in sleeping. But there are indeed ways to get over it. Want to know how? Read further to get acquainted with a few tips that can help the old chaps to enjoy an adequate sleeping session:

Have a bedtime ritual

Older adults shouldn’t stay awake late at night, whatever the case may be. Once or twice, staying up late at night is okay, but in no way should the seniors make it a habit. Instead, they should go by the calculations of a rem calculator that helps one frame a proper schedule for sleep.

A strict bedtime regime is crucial to let their body and mind wind down and become habitual of following the pattern. Also, ensure that you adhere to the same even during weekends or when you are out on a trip to foster a good sleep time.

Gadgets should be out of reach while in bed

Most of the households witness people falling habitual to watching TV or listening to music when they slide under the bed sheets for sleep time. But this is a wrong approach that most of us have been doing wrong for ages. 

May it be your TV set, mobile phones, music device; all such things should be out of your reach when you head towards your bed. Also, devices such as mobile phones should be kept far off because the radiation they emit can be harmful to you and may also spring up sleeping disorders.

Don’t sleep under the influence of alcohol

We are not here to tell you about the goods and bad of drinking alcohol in moderation because it is purely a personal choice. But alcohol shouldn’t be consumed for sleeping purposes. Many golden-agers believe that drinking alcohol promotes better sleep, and thus they can get over their sleeplessness by having some booze before going to bed.

But what they fail to realize is that the influence of alcohol may only last for a few hours, and by the time the effects vanish, it may be midnight, and you might yourself waking up in the middle of the night. 

Further, you may find it more challenging to sleep in such a situation and may end up twisting and tossing on the bed failing to enter your dreamland.


This guide must help you to realize the actual reasons why the elderly may be facing sleep-related issues and how one can overcome them by doing their tits and bits. But even after following these tips, if you do not get relief and still find it difficult to sleep, it’s high time you visit a physician for expert advice.

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