Sleep patterns change as you get older. Older adults spend more time in light sleep and wake up more often. This can lead to poor sleep which can:
Common sleep medicines include:
Some of these medicines work by helping you fall asleep faster. Others help you stay asleep longer (up to 30 minutes longer).
These medicines may help you to sleep better if you use them for about 2 to 4 weeks.
If you use these medicines more than a few weeks, they may not work as well as they did at first. These medicines may also make it harder for you to fall asleep without using medicine. Risks and side effects of sleep medicines include:
It’s important to regularly talk to your healthcare provider and pharmacist about your medicines. Ask if you still need to take all of your medicines or if you can take a lower dose.
Most medicines for sleep should be lessened slowly over time. This will help your body get used to sleeping without them. Ask your healthcare provider how to lessen sleep medicines safely.
For more information about sleep medicines, search the name of the medicine in the
Current as of: March 5, 2020
Author: Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network
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