Insomnia is the difficulty of falling asleep or staying sleepy. Everyone experiences restless nights. It is one of the most common disorders among seniors. 10 to 30% of adults experience insomnia. Adults who are 60 years and above are susceptible to insomnia. As we age, the less we sleep. A decrease in sleep quantity causes the body not to coordinate signals effectively.

Our sleep pattern changes as we age. Seniors are at a higher risk of medical conditions that cause insomnia. Determining the root cause is important for diagnosis. Primary insomnia occurs independently, while secondary insomnia occurs due to an underlying condition. Sleep latency is the time it takes for one to fall asleep. As we age, our sleep latency decreases, and it takes longer to fall asleep. The two categories of sleep cycles are non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). NREM involves the time spent sleeping, while REM consists of the brain.

This article will discuss different methods for treating insomnia in seniors.


The doctor will focus on sleep hygiene. Creating a conducive environment in the bedroom. Using the bed for sleep and not any other activities. Darkness in the bedroom. Good conditioning in the bedroom when it is hot.


One should go to bed when they are tired. If you lay in bed for more than 20 minutes, you should get up, get yourself busy until you get tired then go to bed. One should also have a specific pattern, where one should wake up at a particular time each morning.


One should have sleep records of when they sleep, wake up, and the amount of time they spend while sleeping. This will help improve sleep efficiency. It is the amount of time spent asleep versus awake.


This helps the seniors state their sleep negatives and replace them with positives. It will help them sleep more. They also get to spend 90% of their time in bed.


Exposure to bright light in the evenings helps one sleep a bit late and wake up later. A dark room helps one rest for long in the morning because there is no direct light.

If the non-pharmacological methods do not work, the doctor introduces the pharmacological methods. They include the use of medications. It can be risky due to addiction. They interact with the natural hormones of the body and cause sleep.

Seniors should have an average of eight to nine hours of sleep daily. If one is experiencing sleep difficulties, they should try the following:

  • Having a sleep schedule. Have a specific time they should sleep and wake up every day, even on weekends and during travels.
  • Not taking sleeping pills. This causes sleeping disturbances because they force themselves to sleep.
  • Avoid napping during the day. Keeping yourself busy during the day. By evening you will be tired and ready to sleep well.
  • Avoid taking caffeine and tobacco in the evening and afternoon. They help deprive sleep and disorganize sleep patterns.
  • Having a well-maintained temperature, low light bedroom. It brings the mood to sleep well.


Insomnia is prevalent in adults. Suppose you continue to experience it despite taking all the measures. You are advised to see a physician.


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