Do You Really Need Less Sleep As You Age?

Truly, kids are expected not to be denied sleep; they need to sleep more than adults. This is because they are still growing, so adequate rest and recovery are really vital for proper development and functioning. That is why kids and teens are expected to sleep for more than seven hours before the next day. Adequate sleep is needed for your wellbeing and for the prevention of accidents like the inability to handle tasks at hand and the inability to focus, concentrate or perform well, as well as leading to daytime sleepiness.

However, a set of people don’t really need much sleep as teens do, and they really don’t have to worry about the quality of time they spend sleeping. Now, the big question that needs to be addressed is “Do we really need less sleep as we age?” “What science or research has proved this to be factual?” These questions will without fail be addressed in this article.

Sleeping less is very important as people age or get older. In order words, people who age do not need more sleep as younger ones do.

On one hand, people argue that poor sleep is tightly connected to age. On the other hand, others disagree with this fact. Well, think of it this pretty way: Why does your grandma tend to sleep less than you do? Why don’t you wake up before her?

There is a neurological reason behind this most-sought for the phenomenon– a cluster of neurons in the mammalian brain, known as the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus or intermediate nucleus of the preoptic area is closely associated with sleeping and awakening. And we all know that the more we age, the more the cells in the body of humans degenerate. So if this is the condition humans have found themselves, it is, therefore, reasonable to conclude that as people age, there is an absolute tendency that they will sleep less. It is not because they’d napped thoroughly during the day; no, but because of this fact. As people get older, they find it extremely difficult to fall and stay asleep than they used to when they were younger adults.

The fact is older ones don’t lose their normal period of sleep, the 7-8 hours of sleep, as studies have shown. However, they tend to sleep earlier (between 6 pm and 8 pm) and wake earlier in the morning than younger adults. This is as a result of the sleep pattern older people have developed, which we call ‘advanced sleep phase syndrome’, a condition in which older people feel very sleepy and go to bed very early in the evening. But, researchers don’t really understand the reason behind this. They only adduce this condition to light exposure and other well-known physical factors exacerbating it.

As contrary to the beliefs many hold dear that poor sleep is part of aging, poor sleep and waking up very tired the next day is as a result of a debilitating health problem you’ve got. Therefore, you ought to see your doctor or a sleep specialist to know the problem you are battling as an older person.

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