Sleep Problems

Basic Facts

Older adults are more likely to have trouble sleeping if they have other health problems, such as heart or lung disease, pain, cough, or depression. Some medications, such as water pills, caffeine, and blood pressure medicine can also affect sleep.

About 30% of people over age 65 have loss of sleep. It may not happen every night but can come back after a few nights of better sleep. Older women often have sleep problems, especially those who are African American. Sometimes women’s sleep problems are related to menopause. 

Sleep Problems that Older Adults Can Have 

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Sleeping too much
  • Naps during the day that may lead to less sleep at night
  • Disturbing movement or breathing problems that prevent sleep

Sleep problems can lead to:

  • Tiredness during the day
  • Mood changes such as depression and irritability.
  • Difficulties with work and concentration.
  • Falls and injuries, including broken bones.
  • Increased risk of disease and use of healthcare services.
  • Poor quality of life for people with sleep problems and any caregivers, they may have.

See your healthcare professional if sleep problems affect your daily life.


Last UpdatedJanuary 2023

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