Here’s the problem: For all the tips the experts have to offer, they still haven’t figured out a way to stop the slow march of time — and as pretty much anyone past college age can attest, growing older means getting worse at sleeping soundly.
The amount of deep sleep you get each night begins to decline in your late 20s, regardless of how long you’re actually unconscious; by age 50, you spend just half as much time in deep sleep as you did 30 years before.
If you can’t beat it, though, at least you can try to understand it. In a review paper published this week in the journal Neuron and highlighted by Popular Science, a team of researchers identified one possible cause. As you age, your brain becomes worse at knowing when you’re tired.
Specifically, they argued, the neurological receptors that pick up the chemicals that signify fatigue decrease over time, leaving you with a sleepy body and a brain that won’t shut off to accommodate it. “It’s almost like a radio antenna that’s weak,” co-author Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, said. “The signal is there, but the antenna just can’t pick it up.”
The bad news is, there’s not really anything you can do to stop that process; the good news, however small a comfort, is that at least all those other research-backed tips and tricks are better than nothing.
When children breathe through their mouths during the day chances are that they also breathe through their mouths at night. Mouth breathing at night is directly connected to altered levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood stream. When less oxygen is able to reach the brain, learning and the ability to focus at school becomes a problem for many children.