We know that getting enough rest helps keep us healthy, but recent research finds that those over 50 who rated their sleep worse also feel older and view aging more negatively.
Serena Sabatini, the lead author of the University of Exeter team, says “Our research suggests that poor sleepers feel older, and have a more negative perception of their ageing. We need to study this further – one explanation could be that a more negative outlook influences both. However, it could be a sign that addressing sleep difficulties could promote a better perception of ageing, which could have other health benefits.”
The study looked at surveys filled out by more than 4,482 people over the age of 50 as part of the PROTECT study. PROTECT participants take regular cognitive tests and fill out lifestyle questionnaires. The team noticed many of the participants commenting about their physical wellbeing and its connection to sleep. They determined to follow up with a questionnaire specifically about sleep.
Participants were asked about negative age-related changes (memory loss, lower energy levels, less motivation, and the need to limit their activities). They also rated their sleep.