It’s still a myth that elderly people need much less sleep than the younger ones. They always get up early in the morning or easily wake up during night. There is no exact scientific origin found for this commonly existed phenomenon till now. But related studies were carried out and found that with aging, people do need less sleep hours than the younger counterparts, and reasons are suggested for this is still under probe.
About seven thousand people aged from 35-75 years old were randomly selected to be the participants of the research, from which, the ones that had sleep related problems were selected out. With the application of various methods, the participants’ sleep patterns were studied and data were gained.
The data shows elderly people sleep less than the younger ones also with less complaint about sleep problems. Besides pathological sleepiness happen to them at a much lower frequency than the younger participants. All this can be used to suggest that the elderly actually need less sleep hours.
The research also showed that with age increase, women tend to fall asleep more difficultly, whilst there is no obvious difference on men with the change of age. But for the sleep efficiency, both men and women would suffer from a decrease with increase of age as they are likely to wake in sleep. With reduced sleep hours and quality, the elderly still function better in the daytime with more refresh than the younger people.
The researchers involved in the study suggested that it might be because of the mental satisfaction to the sleep pattern from the inner heart of elderly people, which is quite a lame explanation.
As the elderly need less sleep from a biological level, there must be something changed in the mechanism which control sleep. Inspiration may be got from an earlier study published on the journal Brain on the subject and it was carried out by the researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and University of Toronto. Neurological interference was for the first time listed as one of reasons causing the phenomenon that elderly people requires less sleep time.