HONOLULU - A good night's sleep is important for people of all ages, but some health experts estimate, up to half of all seniors have sleep disorders. Doctors say many seniors don't seek help because they think older people need less sleep.

How much sleep do seniors need? Dr. Shanon Makekau of Kaiser Permanente's Sleep Center says, "The recommendation for most adults is seven to nine hours. Once we get into senior years, the requirement is on the lower end of that."

Often, they don't get that, which is when some go to clinics like Kaiser Permanente's Sleep Center for help. Dr. Makekau explains, "Because of underlying health issues like arthritis or medications, things can affect sleep so that seniors feel unrefreshed or have early morning awakenings and can't get back to sleep."

This mask delivers constant air pressure for people suffering from sleep apnea. That's just one of the sleep problems Dr. Makekau says plagues up to 50% of the elderly, but before you go to a sleep clinic, experts say adjust your own habits first. 

Doctors say not looking at your tech devices like your computer or your phone at least an hour before bedtime is a one way to create a good sleep environment. Avoid naps and caffeine late in the day. Talk to your physician; some medications might be keeping you up. Exercise, or at least get outside, for 45 minutes a day to regulate your body clock, and, Dr. Shanon Makekau emphasizes, do not rely on sleep medications because they can cause confusion and nighttime falls.

Keep making sleep a priority, she says, because a restful night is a key part of aging well.