About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Study Says Less Sleep is Just Fine With the Elderly

by Rajashri on July 26, 2008 at 3:55 PM
Font : A-A+

 Study Says Less Sleep is Just Fine With the Elderly

A new study has found that healthy older people lose some capacity for sleep as they age meaning that less sleep is just fine with them.

The researchers reported that when asked to stay in bed for 16 hours in the dark each day for several days, younger people get an average of 9 hours of shuteye compared to 7.5 hours for older people.

Advertisement

"The most parsimonious explanation for our results is that older people need less sleep," said Elizabeth Klerman of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

"It's also possible that they sleep less even when given the opportunity for more sleep because of age-related changes in the ability to fall asleep and remain asleep," she added.
Advertisement

The results of the study apply only to healthy individuals taking no medication and having no medical conditions or sleep disorders.

The study also found that most healthy people, and young people in particular, don't get as much sleep as they need.

The idea that sleep changes markedly across the life span isn't new. In fact, insomnia is a common complaint among older people. But whether age-related changes in sleep were due to changes in social factors, circadian rhythms, or shifts in an internal "set point" for sleep need or the ability to sleep had remained unresolved.

In the study, the researchers set out to compare the capacity for sleep in young people (between the ages of 18 and 32) compared to older people (age 60 to 72) under conditions that controlled for circadian rhythms by allowing the chance to sleep during both the night and the day and by controlling individual choices in sleep opportunities.

"While humans can sometimes override the homeostatic set point and not sleep when tired, there is no evidence that they can sleep when they are not tired," Klerman said.

Given the same amount of time in bed, older people take longer to fall asleep and sleep for less time than younger people do, they found. When required to remain in bed for 16 hours a day, older people slept 1.5 hours less on average than younger people, they showed.

That age-related decline in sleep included an even split between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is associated with dreaming, and non-REM sleep, they found.

Most of the younger subjects slept for many more hours during the study than their usual self-selected sleep times. Given the evidence that insufficient sleep is associated with increased risk of accidents, errors, and metabolic changes similar to diabetes, Klerman emphasized that younger people should sleep more.

The findings may also influence treatment for insomnia in older people, Klerman said.

The study is published online on July 24th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

Source: ANI
RAS/S
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Snoring Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking Periodic Limb Movement Disorder REM Behavior Disorder Sleep Disturbances In Women Sleep Insomnia Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sleep Disorders: A Prelude 

Recommended Reading
What are the Causes of Snoring?
Nasal passageway abnormalities, age, weight gain, sleeping posture, and the use of medications and ....
Hypersomnia
Hyper means "excessive" and somnia refers to "sleep", so hypersomnia is excessively long or deep .....
Sleep Disorder
Sleep disorders can either be having difficulty in getting sleep or dozing off at inappropriate ......
Ageing and Sleep
Sleep is a barometer of good health in the elderly. Sleep problems in the elderly are controlled by ...
Insomnia
Difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep is known as insomnia. It is a symptom that occurs due...
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea should be suspected in overweight middle aged adults who snore loudly and w...
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder which causes repetitive cramping or jerki...
REM Behavior Disorder
REM Behavior Disorder (RBD) is a sleep disorder in which the person acts out dramatic or violent dre...
Sleep
Sleep is a behavioral state of restricted physical activity. It is controlled by our internal biolo...
Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes - An urge to move, usually due to uncomfortable sensations that...
Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking
Sleepwalking or “Somnambulism,” is a type of parasomnia and has medico-legal implications...
Sleep Disorders: A Prelude
Sleep disorders include difficulty falling/staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, ex...
Sleep Disturbances In Women
The physical, emotional and hormonal changes that occur in women during puberty, menstrual cycle, pr...
Snoring
Turbulent airflow causes tissues of the nose and throat to vibrate and the noise produced by these v...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use