Profiles of Changes in Sleep with Age

There are many changes in sleep that occur throughout the span of the life cycle. Time spent in sleep, preferred bedtime and wake times, and depth and quality of sleep all are influenced by age. Along with these associated changes come certain challenges.

For parents of young children, the challenge often plays out around bedtime, when children want to stay up later than they should. For teens, it may be that an early school start time conflicts with their natural body rhythms to sleep later. And for older adults, it may be difficult to get enough sleep when they habitually wake up several hours earlier than they did when they were younger.

The video profiles below feature stories about real people who are facing these typical sleep challenges, and finding solutions for getting better sleep.


Kirsten’s Story: Developing Sleep Routines in Children (4:49)

Balancing the demands of work and parenthood, Kirsten explores how developing sleep routines in her children can help ensure a lifetime of healthy sleep habits.

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Matt’s Story: Rethinking School Start Times (4:12)

Because their body rhythms drift in a later direction, many teens struggle to wake up for school. Matt decides that it is time to address this problem at his school.

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Sleep Strategies Later in Life (4:22)

Sleep problems are not inevitable as we age, though individuals need to pay attention to healthy sleep habits.

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This content was last reviewed on December 18, 2007