Sleep your way to good health

Created date

May 24th, 2017
Senior woman having a restful sleep

A bad night’s sleep can make you feel fatigued and less mentally sharp, but now a review of studies conducted by researchers at University of California Berkeley has revealed that sleeping poorly might be harmful to your health in ways previously unsuspected.

Older adults are sometimes affected by insomnia, which can be related to pain, medications, or urinary frequency, and some older adults sleep fewer hours than they used to without really knowing why. Some research results show that the aging brain cannot generate the types of brain waves that promote deep restorative sleep. 

In their study, the researchers found that unmet sleep needs are linked with memory loss and other mental and physical disorders. Some of these include Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and obesity.

The researchers speculate that finding ways to improve sleep may help decrease someone’s likelihood of developing these conditions. Using sleeping pills is not the way to go—except as a short-term solution recommended by your doctor. Study results suggest that sedated sleep is as harmful as sleeping poorly. The researchers say more study is needed to determine how to improve quality of sleep in old age.