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How does sleep quality change as we get older?

Around two and a half years ago I reported on a study that found a 25% drop in reports of sleep disturbances after retirement.

To counter this, about six months ago I wrote about a natural aging process that can harm sleep.

Now it would appear that overall, we should expect our sleep quality to improve as we age.

According to a telephone survey of 150,000 individuals, sleep gets consistently better as we age (although there do seem to be issues when we are in our 40s). Those in their eighties can expect the highest quality sleep.

Of course, it's worth bearing in mind that this study was based purely on subjective opinions - ones which can vary considerably between individuals and vary depending on the mood of the individual when asked about their sleep.

That being said, it does suggest a disconnect between how well we sleep and how well we think we're sleeping.

Source: BBC News

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Last updated: November 8, 2013

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • Doug Stewart
    April 25, 2012, 12:01 am

    I can absolutely confirm that there is a BIG disconnect by how well we think we slept, and how we actually slept. I’ve had nights where I SWEAR I’ve had zero sleep. Then when I look at the Zeo data, it shows I’ve actually had 5.5 hours of sleep, about 2 hours of it REM and Deep. I find on these nights that I’m no more tired than usual the following day…..