Flourish Health & Wellbeing eMagazine - Jan21 - Flipbook - Page 36
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced
naturally in the body at night which
promotes sleep. Older people make less
melatonin so they may find it difficult to
get off to sleep. Other factors may
interfere with sleep and cause
awakenings during the night. These
include hot flushes in postmenopausal
women and the need to go to the toilet
during the night. Pain may make it
difficult to stay in one position for the
whole night. Also, after retirement, many
people find it convenient to take a short
nap during the day, which can reduce
the need for sleep at night.
What sleep problems do
older people have more
At least 1 in 4 older people have sleep
apnea or periodic limb movement
disorder. These problems often disturb
the sleep of the bed partner as well.
Insomnia is seen in 4 in 10 older people.
One in 10 older people has insomnia that
is a problem for more than 3 months.
Long and/or frequent time awake during
the night may happen if people spend
too long in bed each night.