6 Sleep Problems in Older Adults and Ways to Sleep Better

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6 Sleep Problems in Older Adults and Ways to Sleep Better

Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, but getting a good night’s rest can become more challenging as we age. Older adults often experience various sleep problems that can impact their quality of life. Let’s explore six common sleep problems in older adults and provide practical tips on how to sleep better.


6 Sleep Problems in Older Adults


1. Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the most prevalent sleep problems among older adults. It involves difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Factors such as stress, medications, and underlying health conditions can contribute to insomnia in older adults. Here are some ways to manage insomnia:


Tips for Managing Insomnia

  1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes reading a book or taking a warm bath to signal your body that it’s time to wind down.
  3. Limit exposure to screens, such as phones and computers, before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can interfere with sleep.
  4. Avoid caffeine and large meals close to bedtime, and limit alcohol intake, as these can disrupt sleep patterns.
  5. Consider incorporating relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to reduce stress and promote better sleep.


2. Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is another common sleep disorder in older adults, characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. It can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, and other health issues. Managing sleep apnea often requires medical intervention, but lifestyle changes can also help:


Lifestyle Changes for Managing Sleep Apnea

  1. Maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can contribute to airway obstruction during sleep.
  2. Sleep on your side instead of your back to prevent airway collapse.
  3. Avoid alcohol and sedatives, as they can relax the throat muscles and worsen sleep apnea symptoms.
  4. Use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine as your healthcare provider prescribes to keep the airway open during sleep.


3. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs, often described as tingling, crawling, or itching, leading to an irresistible urge to move the legs. RLS can disrupt sleep and affect the overall quality of life. Here are strategies to manage RLS:


Strategies for Managing Restless Legs Syndrome

  1. Engage in regular exercise, such as walking or yoga, to help alleviate RLS symptoms.
  2. Avoid caffeine and nicotine, as they can exacerbate RLS symptoms.
  3. Practice relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation or gentle stretching before bedtime.
  4. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about medications that can help alleviate RLS symptoms if lifestyle changes alone are not effective.


4. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) involves repetitive, involuntary movements of the legs or arms during sleep, which can disrupt sleep continuity. It often coexists with other sleep disorders like RLS. Here’s how to manage PLMD:


Tips for Managing Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

  1. Maintain good sleep hygiene practices, such as a comfortable sleep environment and a regular sleep schedule.
  2. Discuss medications that can help reduce PLMD symptoms with your healthcare provider.
  3. Address any underlying conditions contributing to PLMD, such as iron deficiency or neurological disorders.


5. Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

Many older adults experience sleep deprivation due to various factors, including caregiving responsibilities, chronic pain, and age-related changes in sleep patterns. Addressing sleep deprivation is crucial for overall health and well-being:


Strategies for Addressing Sleep Deprivation

  1. Prioritize sleep by setting aside enough time for restful sleep each night.
  2. Delegate caregiving responsibilities to family members or caregivers to ensure you have adequate time for sleep.
  3. Manage chronic pain with appropriate medications or therapies to minimize sleep disruptions.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques and create a calming sleep environment to improve sleep quality.


6. Circadian Rhythm Disruptions

woman sleeping beside her alarm clock

Changes in circadian rhythms, often called the body’s internal clock, can occur as we age, leading to sleep-wake cycle disruptions. This can result in difficulty falling asleep at night and feeling sleepy during the day. Here’s how to regulate circadian rhythms:


Tips for Regulating Circadian Rhythms

  1. Get exposure to natural sunlight during the day to help regulate your internal clock.
  2. Avoid napping for long periods during the day, especially in the late afternoon or evening.
  3. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine to reinforce your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
  4. Limit exposure to artificial, incredibly blue light from screens before bedtime to avoid disrupting circadian rhythms.


How CBD Helps You With Sleep Problems

CBD, or cannabidiol, has garnered significant attention for its potential therapeutic benefits, particularly in addressing sleep problems in older adults. Here’s how CBD can help:

  1. Relaxation and Anxiety Reduction: CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and nervous system, promoting a sense of calmness and relaxation. This can be especially beneficial for older adults who experience anxiety or stress that disrupts their sleep.
  2. Pain Relief: Many older adults deal with chronic pain conditions that can interfere with sleep. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and may help alleviate pain, allowing for more comfortable rest.
  3. Regulating Sleep Patterns: CBD may influence the body’s sleep-wake cycle by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. It can help regulate sleep patterns and promote a more consistent and restful night’s sleep.
  4. Reducing REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD): RBD is a condition where individuals act out vivid dreams during REM sleep, potentially causing sleep disturbances. CBD has shown promise in reducing RBD symptoms, leading to improved sleep quality.
  5. Improving Sleep Disorders: CBD has been studied for its potential in managing sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. While more research is needed, preliminary studies suggest that CBD may have positive effects on these conditions.


Overall, CBD offers a natural and non-habit-forming option for older adults seeking relief from sleep problems. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating CBD into your sleep routine, especially if you’re taking other medications or have underlying health concerns. If you’re new to CBD, it’s a good idea to buy from trusted sources like Leaf Alleviate, which is recognized for obtaining products from reputable suppliers.



Choose Leaf Alleviate for Your CBD Needs

We’re committed to helping you find the peace and comfort you deserve through our wellness solutions. To explore our products and learn how we can help you achieve the desired rejuvenating sleep, shop now.




Q: What Are the Main Causes of Sleep Problems in Older Adults?

Common causes of sleep problems in older adults include changes in sleep patterns, underlying health conditions, medications, stress, and lifestyle factors.

Q: How Can I Improve My Sleep Quality as an Older Adult?

You can improve your sleep quality by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, managing stress, avoiding stimulants close to bedtime, and addressing any underlying sleep disorders with medical guidance.

Q: Is It Normal for Older Adults to Have Trouble Sleeping?

While changes in sleep patterns are common as we age, persistent sleep problems that affect daily functioning should be addressed with healthcare professionals to determine the underlying causes and appropriate interventions.

Q: Can Sleep Problems in Older Adults Be Treated Effectively?

Many sleep problems in older adults can be effectively treated or managed with lifestyle changes, behavioural interventions, and sometimes, medical treatments prescribed by healthcare providers.


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