Sleep is essential to good health; both physical health as well as mental. While the mechanics and details of sleep are still not yet full understood, they’re receiving a lot of research attention. And doctors are certain, having established through research, that sleep is critical for us all. Living organisms need a wake and sleep cycle, and without that sleep they cannot live long. Even impaired sleep, where someone doesn’t get quality sleep, will soon show measurable health effects that can be life threatening.
Humans and the amount, type, and frequency of the sleep we need changes throughout our lives. As infants, we sleep more often, and in shorter bursts rather than longer periods. Adults tend to settle into a fairly stable sleep pattern, but upon the onset of old age our sleep needs tend to change again. Sleep scientists have identified alterations in sleep patterns, and in the neurochemistry, of older humans. These changes with age are not yet fully understood, and some of them seem to slightly contradict what medical science understands about non-elderly adult sleep.
But young or old, problems sleeping will impact longevity and overall well-being. And even after the changes we experience as we get older, we still need our sleep. Maybe less of it, and maybe a different kind of sleep; but without it, we’re not going to fare very well.
If you think your sleep patterns are changing as you age, you’re probably right. #HealthStatus
- 1Even though we all need sleep to stay healthy, not much research has been into how sleep needs change with age.
- 2Some studies show periods of wakefulness increase with age, while sleep time decreases.
- 3There is also research that points to the natural timing of wake-sleep cycles shifting forward with age.
See the original at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4067693/
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