Abstract The sleep of ten normal elderly women, aged 66 to 87 years (mean age, 76.7) was studied for four or five nights each. The mean REM percentage was 18.0; total REM time, 70 minutes; and mean REM period length, 18 minutes. This amount of REM sleep was not statistically different from the amount previously reported for the elderly male. The elderly male, as compared to the female, had significantly more first NREM periods shorter than 45 minutes. It was hypothesized that this may reflect slight brain changes in the male, not yet evident for the female. As previously reported for the male, REM sleep was quite markedly reduced in the oldest (aged 87 years) subject of the sample.