Saturday, December 2

Poor sleepers feel older

Sleep problems affect our perception of aging.

Sleep problems affect our perception of aging.

Photo: karlyukav / Freepik

Sleep disorders such as insomnia or nocturnal awakenings increase in stressful situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that we have lived through for 18 months and which, according to the World Health Organization, can spread even further. Sleep problems can affect your health in a number of ways, and in fact poor sleepers feel older, according to new research.

The study led by the British University of Exeter indicates that lack of sleep can affect people’s cognitive, physical and mental health and that it can also make them feel older, particularly among people over 50 years of age. It also points out that the perception of people who sleep badly around aging and the passage of time turn negative.

The researchers surveyed 4,482 people aged 50 and over who are taking part in the PROTECT study, an English initiative to monitor changes that occur in the brain over time, understand how it ages and prevent dementia.

The specialists noted that many participants in this study found a relationship between their nighttime sleep conditions and their self-perception. “The way I feel varies a lot depending on my dream. I feel great if I sleep six hours, so about half the time I feel younger and half the time I feel older“Commented one of the participants.

The research, published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine, found that lack of depth of sleep, frequent early waking, difficulty falling asleep, sleeping less at night and more during the day can raise awareness of negative age-related change.

However, although the negative perception of age has many associated factors, “address sleep difficulties, along with negative mood and poor daily functioning may promote a small additional increase in positive self-perceptions of aging, ”the authors wrote.

Thus, it is important to attend to sleeping difficulties at any age, but particularly when approaching the fifth decade of life. Sleep hygiene, doing practices such as meditation, and finding the cause of stress are some measures that can combat insomnia.

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