Those who sleep badly feel … older

THE ESSENTIAL

  • With aging, the quality and rhythm of sleep change.
  • Seniors sleep on average an hour less than young adults.

Sleeping poorly leads to feeling old, according to a new study published in the journal Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

A more negative perception of aging

To reach this conclusion, the researchers interviewed 4,482 people aged 50 and over. They had to indicate whether they were experiencing negative age-related changes, such as a dissolution of memory, a decrease in energy and motivation, an increase in dependence or even a limitation of activities. Their quality of sleep was also assessed twice, one year apart.

“Since we know that a negative perception of aging can adversely affect the development of a person’s physical, mental and cognitive health, we wanted to understand what makes people more negative about aging,” explains study director Serena Sabatini. “Our research indicates that people who sleep poorly feel older and have a more negative perception of their aging”, she continues.

A study to be deepened

She concludes: “We need to further study this study, but these results allow us to suppose that the management of sleep problems could promote a better perception of aging, and therefore have a positive impact on the health of the elderly.”

A growing body of research indicates that sleeping well increases the chances of aging well. Sleeping time tends to be reduced (less than 6 hours) in the presence of pathologies such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, arterial hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders, cancers, etc. On the contrary, it may increase (more than 10 h) if the person is prone to impaired memory functions.

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