New research has found sleep quantity and quality decline from the mid the mid-30s suggesting the elderly are suffering from an unmet sleep need.
Getting good quality sleep and enough of it has been proven to be a nightmare for older people. It's well known that as people age, they sleep less and wake up more frequently.
New research suggests the ageing process affects the quality of sleep people get, wreaking havoc on a person both mentally and physically and could even be implicated in the prevalence of many diseases and dementia.
A review of scientific literature published in medical journal Neuron found that adults may be losing their ability to produce deep, restorative sleep from their mid-30s.
"Sleep changes with ageing, but it doesn't just change with ageing; it can also start to explain ageing itself," said review co-author Matthew Walker, who leads the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.
"Every one of the major diseases that are killing us in first-world nations - from diabetes to obesity to Alzheimer's disease to cancer - all of those things now have strong causal links to a lack of sleep. And all of those diseases significantly increase in likelihood the older that we get, and especially in dementia."
"We need to recognise the causal contribution of sleep disruption in the physical and mental deterioration that underlies ageing and dementia. More attention needs to be paid to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disturbance if we are going to extend healthspan, and not just lifespan," he said.
Updated April 6 2017