Why age people sleep less?
You ever notice that the older people sleep less than in his youth? In fact, it is a known fact, but the reasons for this phenomenon are not well understood. A group of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley wondered - whether people over 65 years old sleep less because they need less sleep, or whether it is due to the fact that they can not sleep? The study is published in the journal Neuron. Scientists say that the reason lies in the specific brain mechanisms that vary with age.
The special features of sleep in older age need to be taken carefully
Why do people sleep?
Every living being on the planet in need of sleep. According to lead study author Matthew Walker, this means that sleep evolved along with life accompanying all stages of evolution. At the same time, when we sleep, we become useless: not looking for food, do not work, we do not talk. From this perspective, the dream may seem a deadlock branch of evolution, as a sleeping person - a godsend for the predator. However, the reason why we sleep lies in the fact that sleep is essential for life itself. The human body is designed in such a way that every major organ of the body needs sleep to function properly.
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It is no secret that in recent years, scientists have paid special attention to the study of sleep. So, our regular readers know about the dangers of sleep deprivation and the need to get enough sleep every day. Neglecting bedtime, you put yourself at risk for many diseases, including depression, cardiovascular disease, obesity and Type II diabetes.
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At the same time, the researchers found that the ability of a person to a quiet sleep decreases with age. Thus, to obtain the necessary amount of sleep becomes more difficult with each passing year. To understand the reasons for what it is going on and whether it is possible to deal with it, the researchers drew a look at the brain.
It turns out that older people are simply more difficult to sleep
How does the brain with age?
In the study, researchers conducted a series of experiments on laboratory rats. Experts compared the amount and type of chemical signals associated with sleep in young and older individuals and found that the chemical characteristics are the same regardless of the age of rodents. However, according to the study authors, the problem lies in the fact that the receptors in the brain that receive the signal weakens with age. This means that in an aging brain everything works as before, but to catch the signals he is not capable. Just as an antenna, which can not capture the incoming signal. Experts do not rule out that the sleep deprivation may contribute to aging of the organism. Walker hopes that the research will help to better understand the causes of aging.
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This may surprise you, but the number of hours of sleep begins to gradually decrease from approximately 20-30 years of age and continues relentlessly over time. In fact, when a person celebrates 50 years, sleep quality is degraded by about 50% compared with the 20-year-old. For 70 years the quality of sleep is even worse. Instead of going through the proper sleep cycles, which ensure a good sleep, the person wakes up during the night, constantly suppressing deep sleep, which is essential for the brain to function properly. The researchers believe this is one of the most dramatic physiological changes that occur with aging.
With age, sleep quality significantly deteriorates
Can I sleep longer?
Unfortunately, a quick solution to this problem, to date, no. too little research has been done on this problem. In addition, sleeping pills, which are often prescribed for older people, mostly has a calming effect without ensuring you get sound sleep during the night. According to experts, can help cognitive behavioral therapy, which has shown excellent results in treating insomnia. Scientists are also advised to avoid drinking caffeine after noon, to sleep in a cool room and exercise regularly and have no doubt that the hard work of researchers to prevent lack of sleep with age will be crowned with success.