How Long Is The Ideal Sleep Time For Elderly?

When you are getting older, your nighttime for sleep is reduced. That means elderly sleeping time is much shorter than babies or adults. As the result, some elderly often wake up at night and wake up early, then the question now is what is the ideal sleep time for the elderly?

 If sleep deprivation continues, what is the effect on the health of the elderly? You have to see the explanation below.

How long is the ideal sleep time for the elderly?



Our body organs will experience a decrease in function following with our age. This affects hormone levels in our body, namely melatonin. This natural hormone plays a role in regulating a person's wake and sleep cycle.

If hormone production is disturbed, the sleep and wake cycle automatically will change. This body process is experienced by the elderly so they have shorter hours of sleep than adults and children.

Joni Haryanto, a doctor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Indonesia (FIK UI) said that the ideal sleep time for the elderly is 6 hours. The duration of sleep includes a nap and also a night. It is also recommended that the elderly have enough time to sleep. Having a lack of sleeping time can cause many problems in health.

Joni explained if elderly sleep only 4 hours then it is not enough. Elderly have to add it more when afternoon. But he pointed out that the most important thing is sleep at night.

Unfortunately, many elderly people do not meet the needs of sleep 6 hours per day. They are generally difficult to start sleeping and wake up at night because they keep moving the body and urinating. All of these disorders make them wake up early and get sleepy during the day. Although sleep needs can be met during the day, sleeping at night must still be prioritized.

When the elderly do not sleep at night, it will take some effects such as sick, getting angry, and fall down easily.

Sleep disorders that often occur in the elderly

In addition to hormonal changes, sleep disorders can also damage the quality of elderly sleep. Nearly almost 50 percent of the elderly complain about this problem. Sleep disorders that are commonly experienced by the elderly are insomnia (difficult to sleep). This difficulty in sleeping can occur due to the use of certain drugs, feeling stressed, anxious, or also depressed.

Elderly also tend to have other medical conditions such as sleep apnea, bladder disorders, and also rheumatism. Sleep apnea makes them wake up in the middle of the night because the breath suddenly stops. While bladder problems cause them to go back (come and go) to the bathroom and rheumatism causes pain so sleep becomes uncomfortable.

If their sleep cycle continues getting worse, ‘the circadian’ rhythm will be disrupted. Circadian rhythm is a timetable for working the organs of a human body. This condition causes the elderly to wake up at night and extreme fatigue during the day.

The Long-term effects of sleep disorders on the elderly

Poor sleep quality is estimated to double the risk of death in the elderly. So, do not take for granted if your grandfather, grandmother, or you experience complaints of difficulty sleeping with symptoms of fatigue during the day. When you find your beloved having such a condition, you have to check immediately with your doctor so that the condition doesn't get worse.

Without proper care, sleep disorders can cause the quality of life of the elderly to decline. Various diseases become easier to attack. Starting from congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive lung disease, dementia, and Parkinson.


Symptoms of body fatigue and drowsiness during the day can increase the risk of injury to the elderly. For example, loss of balance when walking causes the elderly to fall. As a result, the body parts will certainly be dislocated or injured and the healing process takes longer.

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