Thursday, March 1, 2012

Getting older means you sleep better, not worse, study shows

Older people often complain about sleeping poorly as a sign of aging. Turns out that sleep improves during an adult’s lifetime. A new study in the March edition of SLEEP analyzed 150,000 responses to questions about sleep issues. The adults with the least complaints about sleep disturbances and daytime tiredness were in their 80s. Sleep complaints in general declined over the years, with a slight uptick in middle age.

Researchers said the results challenge conventional beliefs. They said physicians tend to ignore sleep complaints among older adults as a normal part of aging. Granted, there are contributing factors like illness and depression that affect slumber. But those things aside, older folks should be feeling good about their sleep, the study said. If not, they need to talk to their doctor.

Read more blog posts about sleep issues with older adults. Or learn more about sleep and growing older.

1 comment:

Doug said...

So I wonder if it's that they truly sleep better, or if they have been so conditioned to complain about sleep that it's become "a new normal". I've recently read as well that there is "no reason" why sleep (especially deep/REM) needs to suffer as we age...

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