According to WebMD, roughly half of all men and women in the U.S. over the age of 65 don’t sleep enough. In many cases this lack of sufficient sleep is due to the aging process itself, but other causes include stress, certain medications and chronic pain.

Unfortunately, not sleeping enough oftentimes leads to more serious health problems that can threaten a senior’s ability to continue aging in place at home. Here are several reasons why getting sufficient sleep is vitally important for seniors.

What Keeps Older Adults Awake at Night?

The human body was designed to perform optimally when it gets 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep each day. All of us feel better when we’re well rested. But millions of older adults lay awake at night for these reasons:

  • Feeling stressed out, worried or depressed
  • Medications they’re taking
  • Death of a spouse or other close relative
  • Poor lifestyle choices, including drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages before going to bed
  • Sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome or REM behavior disorder
  • An uncomfortable bed
  • Chronic pain due to arthritis, cancer, back pain or another medical condition

If you’re currently serving as a caregiver for an elderly loved one who isn’t getting sufficient sleep, most of these issues are corre