Health, Age and Sleep Duration
May 4, 2010
Many of us view old age as a time to relax and enjoy our families and not having to worry about the stress of being in the workforce. According to researchers, we can now add getting plenty of sleep to the list of things we could enjoy if we live past our retirement age.
Over 2,800 people aged 100 or older participated in a recent study of 15,000 pensioners in China which found that those who lived 100 years or older were three times as likely to get up to 10 hours of sleep per night than younger age groups. "Age and health conditions are the two most important factors associated with self-reported sleep quality and duration," said Danan Gu, from Portland State University, in Oregon, who led the study.
Even with health problems, the study found that the centenarians slept longer than those in their 60s and 70s. On average, the participants said that they slept for around seven and a half hours a day; with men reportedly getting better sleep than women.
Although the study did not focus on a reason for the difference in sleep duration, the findings are exciting because it means that "healthy (older people) could experience satisfactory sleep quality," said Mr Gu. "Sleep problems at oldest-old ages likely arise from a variety of physiological and psychosocial factors rather than aging."
Learn more about sleep and aging and check out the study published in the journal SLEEP.
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