In a new study from the University of Exeter, researchers found that people who rated their sleep the worst also felt older, and perceived their own physical and mental ageing more negatively.
The finding suggests that poor sleepers feel older, and have a more negative perception of their aging.
As we age, we all experience both positive and negative changes in many areas of our lives. However, some people perceive more negative changes than others.
Having a negative perception of aging can be detrimental to future physical health, mental health, and cognitive health.
In the study, the team surveyed 4,482 people aged 50 and over.
Participants were asked whether they had experienced a list of negative age-related changes, such as poorer memory, less energy, increased dependence on the help of others, decreased motivation, and having to limit their activities.
They also rated their quality of sleep. The participants completed both questionnaires twice, one year apart.
The team says this research is an important part of the growing body of evidence about the crucial role of sleep in healthy ageing.
They have got some exciting trials ahead on how to optimize sleep in some particularly vulnerable groups, such as people with dementia in care homes.
If you care about sleep, please read studies about sleep loss may signal higher death risk in people with this health problem and findings of sleep problems linked to higher dementia risk in these people.
For more information about sleep and your health, please see recent studies about simple, fast, wide-awake diagnosis of sleep apnea could enable better surgical care and improve sleep and results showing that lack of sleep in middle age may increase dementia risk.
The study is published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. One author of the study is Serena Sabatini.
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