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Do you sleep more or less as you get older?

Sleep is widely considered one of the foundations of good health, and we’ve been repeatedly told the gold standard is a solid eight hours a night. But just as we know that children need far more than that, we’ve come to believe that older sleepers struggle to stay asleep, so must need fewer hours. But is it true?

Over 50s generally find it much more difficult to fall asleep, and stay asleep. A 2016 study of 62,000 people by RAND Europe showed that 56 to 70-year-olds reported sleeping the fewest hours of all age groups.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that people over 60 should be getting almost the same amount of sleep as those in their twenties. Specifically, 18 to 64-year-olds should be clocking up between 7 and 9 hours every night, and over 65s between 7 and 8.

But as people age they can have a hard time getting anywhere near that due to how their ‘sleep architecture’ has changed. Firstly, as we get older we spend more time in ‘light’ sleep, which provides different benefits from ‘deep’ sleep. Deep sleep is largely responsible for cell replacement, muscle building and organ cleansing. The second cause can be a shift in our circadian rhythms – also known as our body clocks. These rhythms are controlled by light, and as our sensitivity to light decreases with age, so does our body’s ability to decide when it’s time for bed.

What is your experience? Do you have trouble sleeping?  Or has sleep always come easily to you? Have you found it more of a challenge to get to sleep and stay asleep since you reached your 50s? Does lack of sleep cause you anxiety? When did you last change your mattress?

Do you sleep more or less as you get older?

220 people have already voted, what's your opinion? I sleep more I sleep less

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DavidS10
26th Aug 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I have been unemployed for the last couple of years and although I have become decidedly inactive since 2016, on the job front, my sleep pattern has been ok. But, in the last couple of months I've been lucky to catch more than an hours sleep in one night. And I had deliberately cut down the caffeine intake. any suggestions?
David46
16th Aug 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I get off to sleep easily and quickly but invariable wake at some point in the night and my mind insists on turning over any problems or anxieties I have. Often they are trivial and my awake self deals with them and dismisses them, but in the middle of the night my brain refuses to shut up and leave me alone.
sparrer
24th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Difficult one, I sleep less at night, perhaps 4/5 hours but more in the daytime, 2/3 hours.
Malcmister
23rd Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
After retiring from a job that involved shift work I’m now getting back to a normal sleep pattern
JinxB
22nd Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
On average I will get about 4-5 hours per night!i feel tired when going to bed around 10:30 then commonly wake up 02:30 03:00, try lying still to get back to sleep to no avail! Tried sleeping pills once, felt really groggy for days afterwards, now accept it as part of life, read a book until time to get up
AnneS62
18th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I don’t like going to bed but I will not get up in the morning. Eg. 4am. Going 2.30pm getting up.
Kes
18th Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
On average I have about 7 hours sleep each night. Often have to get up for the loo once during the night, but I quickly get off again. Having a good comfortable mattress and pillow is important. I have a new mattress every 7/8 years and regularly rotate my mattress. I know some people who have very poor sleep, and they say they haven’t changed their mattresses for donkeys years, or their pillows. The Sleep Council have some excellent advice and information about sleeping well and about mattresses. https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/helpful-leaflets/
JohnK5
18th Jun 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
During my professional life I was a 5 hour a night person and thrived on it,working on average a 70 hour week and enjoying life.
I am now in my 71St year and extended sleep has become very important to my living pattern. I now have 8-9 hours per night, I've found that my body/ mind requires that amount of switch off to remain alert and healthy.
Physical exercise is very important as well as keeping interested in what surrounds you,couch potatoes can damage more than their health!!
JuneAA
18th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I usually go to bed at about 11.00 p.m. and can wake at any time between 3 & 5, very annoying as I am still tired, so not really sure why I wake.
Lucylindy
16th Jun 2018
-1
Thanks for voting!
Sleep more as I take a tablet to do so
Wilf
14th Jun 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Less-I just cannot get comfortable with my old bones and I am only in my 60s. We did stay in a appartment in Portugal earlier this year and they had the most comfortable bed or mattress that I have ever been on. Total bliss and a decent night sleep. The local vino probably helped as well!
Bald123
14th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I sleep a lot lot less and especially in the summer I am up at 4 oclock when it gets light having gone to bed about 11.30 most nights. I have a cup of tea and then go back for a snooze. keeps me going the rest of the day.
Yodama
13th Jun 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
Can't vote on this, I don't sleep more nor do I sleep less. I have always slept very well and soundly, a good 7-8 hours.
There was a time when I was addicted to gaming and played until 3am, madness! The shock of seeing myself in the mirror looking like the Creature from the Black Lagoon brought me to my senses.
I am fortunate indeed, don't even hear myself snore.

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