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Tags: senior | sleep | problem

Study: Most Seniors Don’t Sleep Poorly

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 12:56 PM EST

Contrary to popular belief, poor sleep isn’t a common problem for most seniors, new research shows.
University of Pittsburgh sleep specialists who tracked the bedtime habits of nearly 1,200 retired seniors in western Pennsylvania found more than half report sleeping at least 7.5 hours per night, and between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.
The findings — by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Sleep and Chronobiology Center and University Center for Social and Urban Research — challenge commonly held assumptions that most people 65 and older go to bed early and have trouble sleeping through the night.
"Our findings suggest that in matters regarding sleep and sleepiness, as in many other aspects of life, most seniors today are doing better than is generally thought," said Timothy H. Monk, who directed the study, published in the journal Healthy Aging and Clinical Care in the Elderly. "The stereotype of most seniors going to bed at 8 p.m., sleeping very lightly and being unduly sleepy during the day may be quite inaccurate, suggesting that 60 really is the new 40."
Researchers based their findings on telephone interviews with Pennsylvania seniors. About 25 percent said they slept less than 6.7 hours per night, but the remaining 75 percent reported sleeping more than 6.75 hours, on average. Among other findings:
• Sleep problems in seniors depend largely on the health of the individual, rather than on age.
• Most seniors do not have reliably earlier bedtimes than younger adults.
• Daytime sleepiness in seniors often can be associated with medications, illnesses and other factors and may not be necessarily associated with age.
"The take-away for older adults is that if you can keep yourself healthy and avoid or treat age-related diseases and disorders, then you'll be able to sleep like a younger adult," said Monk. "Although some seniors do have huge sleep problems which need to be understood and treated, the majority of seniors are not reporting significant problems with either nocturnal sleep or daytime sleepiness."
This study, funded by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, was conducted over a 5-year period.

© HealthDay

Contrary to popular belief, poor sleep isn’t a common problem for most seniors, a new poll finds.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 12:56 PM
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