A new study has shown that the young portray a tendency to doze off during the day compared to healthy older adults.
Scientists in the UK, who conducted the study, said that daytime sleepiness is more common in younger people and older adults are more alert during the day and need less sleep at night.
Despite spending a longer period asleep at night, young people aged 20 to 30 are more likely to find their eyes closing during the day than older people aged 65-plus.
Researchers at the University of Surrey studied 110 healthy adults at the University of Surrey who spent eight hours in bed.
They found that the older they were the less time they spent sleeping. Adults over 65 slept for six-and-a-half hours on average, 20 minutes less than adults aged 40-55. They in turn slept 23 minutes less than those aged 20-30, who spent on average seven hours 13 minutes asleep.
Older people also woke more during the night and spent less time in deep, slow wave sleep, which is thought to be the most restful. Despite this they showed less propensity to fall asleep during the day than the young adults.
The study has been published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.