Why do we tend to sleep less as we age?

ValueMags is an agency in the business of providing services to magazines publishers. Their major activities are to increase revenues of these publishers and build relationships with partners. A tactic they have is to give away a magazine to the public for a limited time. This month is it Popular Science and a few other ones.

Popular Science has published an article this month on the amount of sleep we get as we age. It is true that as we get older, we sleep less but no one has really understood why that is. The question is do older adults sleep less because they need less of it or they simply cannot get enough of it. The University of California at Berkeley hypothesis the latter; they believe that due to brain mechanisms that change as we age, we are not able to get the essential amount of sleep.

With this research, it would be possible to give them a platform to advance medication to target this issue and there may be therapies already available to treat sleep deprivation. Every single species on earth needs some kind of sleep according to the lead researcher Matthew Walker. He is the head of sleep and neuroimaging at the laboratory at Berkeley. What this means is that sleep has evolved as our lives did. When you think about it, evolutionarily, sleep is not the best thing you can do for survival since you are unconscious and you are not foraging or socializing and on top of it are vulnerable to predators.

The truth about sleep is that it is vital to life itself since it is still in existence after all this time in humankind. Our organs and regulatory system needs sleep to function properly. Recently, there have been a lot of causal links found between lack of sleep and a long list of diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. But there is still the fact that as humans’ age, our ability to get a good night sleep declines.

With the research found by Walker and his colleagues, they argue that it is due to the loss of neuronal connections in the brain that pick up on sleepiness cues. They even tested sleep with younger and older mice and their chemical signals. The results were the same for all ages but the only disconnect is the receptors in the brain.