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Age-related brain cell changes cause sleep troubles

Age-related brain cell changes cause sleep troubles
25th April 2012

Most people will often complain of having a bad or disrupted night's sleep, but it seems that this occurs much more frequently as we age.

Gone are the days of going to bed at a reasonable hour, dropping straight off and sleeping through to the morning.

While most people put this down to stress and having an increasing number of aches and pains, it seems that there is in fact a neural explanation for poor sleep as we get older.

According to researchers at Leiden University Medical Centre, changes in brain cells during the ageing process causes older adults to struggle to sleep at night and also cause drowsiness during the day.

The discovery was made when investigators studied the electrical activity of cells in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in brain cells responsible for sleep-waking cycles.

Changes in SCN cells and networks were found to be the cause of disrupted sleep in mice.

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