New research from America has revealed that sleep quality gets
better with age.
The research, conducted by the Centre for Sleep and Circadian
Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the
Sleep Journal, took the views of more than 150,000 adults and found
that, apart from a blip in your 40s, you can expect sleep quality
to improve with age rather than deteriorate, which has been a
common conception for many years.
In fact, those who were reported to sleep the best were in their
80s. This showed that although health factors can be found to
affect sleep quality, age could have relatively little to do with
The researchers opted for a quantitative method of analysis by
gathering a large number of opinions, rather than using equipment
to measure sleep duration. Once the researchers were able to adjust
for health factors, such as obesity and depression, a
distinct sleeping pattern emerged.
Complaints about poor sleep quality fell as age rose, with the
lowest number of complaints coming from the over-70s. The only
exception to this was during in middle age, where sleep quality
fell. Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, Professor of Sleep and Physiology
and director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre, said the study
He continued: "We have got to get away from all these myths about
ageing - many people are very content with their sleep."
"If you are angry because your boss didn't give you a pay rise,
your perception of sleep quality may be very different from someone
who is feeling generally content," the BBC quoted him as
This may signal why we have a dip in sleep quality mid-life, and
could possibly relate to a sort of mid-life sleep crisis. Overall
health is a significant factor for sleep, which is emphasised in
this study. Stress can be a key contributor to our overall health,
and it is therefore very important that sleep becomes a time for
rest and relaxation regardless of external factors in your
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes