Who gets the most restful zzzz’s? Grandma and grandpa. New research finds that the older people are, the more likely they are to get the recommended amount of sleep each night. Though sleeping disorders are still prevalent in senior citizens, the people that live the longest make a good night’s sleep a habit.
Previously, it was believed that the elderly were worse sleepers than their younger counterparts, but this thought was based primarily on studies that included only a handful of older subjects and rarely anyone older than his or her 70s. However, this new research focused exclusively on the elderly, paying special attention to people 80 years and older. The study conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data collected in 2005’s Chinese Longitudinal Longevity Survey. Some of the country’s oldest people shared their sleeping habits, as well as other pertinent facts about their identities and lifestyles.
The results were surprising: octogenarians (80 – 89 year olds) slept 19% better than individuals their junior, nonagenarians (90-100 year olds) slept 38% better, and centenarians (100 years or older) demonstrated 70% better sleeping habits than people between 65-79. Other data culled from the research gained more insight into which younger adults (under 65) sleep the best. So who does sleeps the best?
- men sleep better than woman
- economically secure people sleep better than people under financial stress
- rural dwellers sleep better then city slickers
These finds suggest that age is less of a factor in sleep health than various socio-economic variables.
Unfortunately, because the data came from such a large cross-section of people from all around the entire country of China, it is impossible to determine causation. The study concludes that people may live longer due in large part to sleeping between seven and nine hours per night. However, additional research will be necessary. By the end of 2010, China will release data from 2008-09 Longevity Survey, which could help confirm the accuracy of the initial findings
In the meantime, don’t forget to get adequate sleep every night. Not only are the results immediately beneficial, but they could also help you live a longer, healthy life, ensuring you happy, restful evenings well into your 100s.