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Are older adults getting better sleep?

Are older adults getting better sleep?
1st March 2012

Sleep quality gets better during the aging process, according to a new study.

A survey of 155,877 adults has revealed that sleep improves over the course of a lifetime, with researchers recording the fewest complaints among people in their 80s.

Dr Michael Grandner, lead author of the study, commented: "This flies in the face of popular belief.

"These results force us to re-think what we know about sleep in older people – men and women."

Appearing in the journal Sleep, the study used randomised telephone interviews to learn about respondents sleep disturbances and daytime tiredness.

Participants were also asked about their race, income, education, mood, general health and the time of their last medical check-up.

It was found that health problems and depression were associated with poor sleep but the quality of sleep gradually improved as a person aged.

The study defies the popular belief that older adults sleep worse, because of illnesses and age-related aches and pains.

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