Prescription, over-the-counter and so-called natural sleep aids carry health risks, especially for older adults, and national guidelines warn against the use of prescription sleep medicines by people older than 65. Some medications may cause memory problems and confusion, and increase the chance of falling when taken by older adults. Constipation is another common side effect.
Many elderly adults have been taking sleep medications for years, despite the fact the medications are only intended for short-term use. For those who experience sleep problems, therefore, the best advice is to consult your doctor.