Aging Doesn't Cause Sleep Problems

Insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring and a host of sleep problems increase as people get older--among people in their 20s, only about one out of eight are insomniacs. By ages 50 to 64, it's one out of five. It rises to one in four over age 65. And, about three out of five adults over 65 have some kind of sleep complaint, national studies show.

As the 76 million members of the Baby Boomer generation reach these "prime" ages for sleep troubles, specialty sleep clinics are mushrooming. Almost 850 have been accredited in the United States, more than double the number seven years ago. The sleep drug business is also booming. Americans spent $2.1 billion on prescription pills last year and bought 600 million over-the-counter sleep tablets.

However, just because you get older, it doesn't automatically mean you will have trouble sleeping. But, existing health problems, stress, medications and poor lifestyle choices can all contribute to sleep problems. So don't give in to the notion that you aren't sleeping well because of your age ... seek to find out what's really keeping you up. If you need some help in the meantime, read through my guide to a good night's sleep.

USA Today July 27, 2005

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