Apr 6, 2017

Why we sleep less as we age

We sleep less as we get older. But why?

In a new study, researchers say it's because receptors in our brains that receive a sleepiness signal change and decline with age. It's up for debate whether we simply require less sleep later in life or we can't generate the sleep that we need, but the evidence points toward us not being able to get the sleep necessary to re-charge our bodies.

Why it matters: Lack of sleep may not be a consequence of growing older but a factor that contributes to aging, the study's author told Popular Science. Knowing that new framework could lead to better sleeping aids and underscores the need to sleep, despite what your brain might be telling you. A lack of proper sleep also increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Everyone needs a good night's rest – whether you think so or not.

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