8 Ways for Seniors to Sleep Better Tonight

Aging RUINS your sleep, but the good news is, there IS something you can do about it. So in this video I'm going to walk through the specific things you should do to get a great night's sleep as you get older.

A few weeks ago I released a video on how aging negatively impacts your sleep. And a LOT of you asked asked what you can actually DO about it. So what I thought I would do is discuss three of the MAIN sources of sleep problems I see in people that age…and what you can do about it!

📕 If you’re ready to take actionable steps to get better sleep, Dr. Breus has developed a 28-day Sleep Wellness Program just for you. With on-demand video, daily emails, and a Sleep Wellness Guide, his program uses science-backed techniques to improve your sleep in as little as three minutes per day! Learn more here:
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🧑🏻‍💻 Take our Sleep Quiz to receive some of Dr. Breus’s personalized sleep recommendations and begin your journey to better sleep!

0:00 How Aging Effects Sleep
0:55 Sleep Phase Advancement
3:15 Caffeine Metabolism
5:00 Unstructured Napping
7:45 Brainwave Arousals
9:45 Sleep Environment
11:00 Medical Issues
13:00 Restless Leg Syndrome
14:35 Medication Side Effects
15:45 Treating Insomnia
18:00 OTC Medications for Sleep

😴 Michael Breus, Ph.D., is a double board-certified clinical psychologist and sleep expert. He's been in practice since 1999 and helped thousands of patients improve their sleep. Dr. Breus has written five books on sleep and conducted over 1,000 interviews to the press and public.

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About the Author: Joy Packard


  1. This is a wonderfully valuable video! I am 63 years young.. It made a huge difference when I purchased a new mattress after..hope you are sitting down, ..twenty eight years! Yep! And I love the sound of a small family an to lull me to sleep…when little my mother used to run the dishwasher at night to lull me to sleep..thank you Doctor!

  2. For at least 10 years I’ve been waking up every 30-60 minutes almost every night. Nothing has helped.

  3. I am always amazed how a nap can refreshen me, but a full, 8-hour, night time sleep doesn’t provide restful sleep.

    1. I’ve had sleep problems all my life. I’m 64 and I don’t think I’ve had an 8 hour night’s sleep since I was a baby. As an adult, I’ve tried lots of medication for sleep and most of them left me with a hangover the next day. I am now taking melatonin and it works sometimes but not all the time. I could write a book about my insomnia but this is enough for now 😊 Good luck to my fellow insomniacs!

  4. As a 70yo male I really get a lot of good info from your vids, so thanks a lot for sharing these. One problem I have geting to sleep is I tend to get itches on diferent areas (mainly legs and back). Nothing I’ve tried, including antihistamines, seems to help. Eventually I do fall asleep but this seems to take me about 30 minutes longer than it should. Any tips? Thanks.

    1. Sometimes I have that problem, and if I get up and put lotion on all over the itching stops. Nothing special, just whatever Jergen’s we have.

  5. We had a customer in our mattress store who told us she thought it was time for a new mattress. It turns out she had been sleeping on the same mattress that was purchased when she was first married fifty years ago!

  6. Even though the test said I was a dolphin, I’m a wolf…..

    A life-long musician and craftsman, I’ve always stayed up when I could… when I did music for a living, I’d go to bed when the birds started singing as dawn broke, slept till noon or after.

    Now, 73, retired, I’m all screwed up. My hormones are backwards. At night, I get wound up, energized. In the morning (9-10AM) I’m groggy. Coffee only gets me moving… slowly.

    I wonder about my hormones, melatonin vs cortisol… I knew people who’d awake in the morning and be bouncing around, not even make time for breakfast… they’d fly out the door, coffee in hand, raring to go. Me, I’m seeing stars… wanting quiet, coffee… damn lions…

    Lions hate me, I hate them.

    I remember have a couple jobs that started at 6AM. I didn’t wake up until quitting time… I got fired from both jobs… which was fine… they were all lions.

    Being retired, I’m now allowed to do whatever I can whenever I can… and I still stay up until 1AM, and still have a hard to getting to sleep… busy brain… anxious.

    I want to do a sleep study.

  7. Hi doctor ; my problem is I can fall asleep most of the time but just can’t stay asleep what can I do .jc 6:18

  8. I have found that I can’t have caffeine between noon and 6, but if I have a cup of coffee between 6 and 7 pm, it doesn’t seem to bother my sleep. I wonder if it’s because I have ADHD and usually get sleepy from Ritalin (caffeine being a rough analog). Perhaps the timing of caffeine with low dopamine makes a difference? Alcohol at night disrupts my sleep far more. I have no problem falling asleep after a glass of wine, but I often wake up around 3 am and can’t go back to sleep. I believe it’s due to the process of metabolizing alcohol. Thoughts?

  9. Im a older Borderline and also have fibro
    Both these conditions make sleep difficult

  10. alcohol. a lot of old people drink too much! one drink a day is too much. it totally screws up your sleep.

  11. Melatonin made me depressed. Benadryl stopped working as did every other Rx my doctor tried. However Mirapex has gotten rid of restless legs syndrome.

  12. It is 2024 and I am still sleeping on the mattress I purchased in 1984.. actually I think it still functions well.

  13. Thanks, Doc. I just turned 70. I’ve been with my current doctor over 15 years. My doctor appears dismissive over my complaints about sleep, and has even told me it’s unreasonable to expect “good” sleep at my age. Is it time to find another PCP?

  14. Cutting coffee from 4 cups to 2 cups made a huge improvement in my sleep… and I never had the coffee after 10am. I can definitely tell the difference in how I feel when I wake up, but also I have a sleep tracker which showed clear improvements in my sleep score and my sleeping HRV. In addition to reducing the coffee, I make myself wait an hour to have it. That is because I should be doing that anyway since the coffee can interfere with my thyroid medication.

    I want to experiment with 1 cup then 0 cups… I really want to… but the caffeine addiction is real so I haven’t done it yet

  15. None of these things do anything for me. I wake up at 4 am or so and cannot go back to sleep. Probably because I have to get up at 5:30 AM. I have no back pain etc. Have no money for a new mattress. if I fall asleep at 4 PM in afternoon it is no longer than one half hour.

  16. In my late 50’s and early 60’s, I used to get restless leg syndrome. I found that magnesium helped and also I was later found to be B12 deficient. I now take a daily high dose supplement of B complex. I haven’t had a problem with it for the last 10 years at least and it also relieved most of the peripheral neuropathy symptoms. I am now 73. In might be worth having your serum B12 checked if you suffer from these conditions.

  17. Hi!. My bedtime is 9 PM. No problem going to sleep. But I wake up at around 3 AM almost every day. I hope to fall asleep again, but that not always happens. I read at that time. I am as clear as can be and ready to start my day. I am in my 70s. Can you address this issue please?

    1. What issue? 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep is the goal for most seniors . I’m envious

  18. In Dec. 2021, at 68, I had major surgery for the first time. It seriously wrecked my sleep. I think it had something to do with the anesthesia and what happened while I was under. I have tried all the regular approaches to insomnia, without reliable relief. Two days ago I had the idea to begin writing letters to sleep. It is already making a difference. Last night I actually slept beautifully, for more than 6 hours, which is practically miraculous.

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