15th Mar 2019
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Friday Flash Poll: What keeps you awake at night?
Friday Flash Poll: What keeps you awake at night?

Research released today shows that older Australians might toss and turn at night, but they’re more likely than younger people to bounce out of bed in the morning.

The report, released on World Sleep Day, found that people aged 65 and over are happier with their sleep patterns than younger people.

“We found that older people are not sleeping particularly well, but they have considerably less sleep-related fatigue and irritability than younger people,” says Professor Robert Adams, a sleep specialist with the Sleep Health Foundation.

“It’s positive to see that despite some pretty significant disruption older people are, on the whole, less bothered by a bad night’s sleep and wake feeling refreshed.”

A survey of 1011 Australians, 175 of whom were 65 or older, asked questions about sleep habits, sleep problems, work life, income, mental health and personal details like age, sex and education.

“We found more than half (52 per cent) of older people wake a lot in the night, compared to 40 per cent of younger people. They’re also more likely to wake too early (40 vs 33 per cent) and have just as much difficulty falling asleep at night,” Professor Adams says.

“But, and it’s a big but, how they feel about this sleep differs considerably from working-age people.

“A third wake up feeling unrefreshed, compared with 48 per cent of other people, and 61 per cent feel they get adequate sleep, compared to 47 per cent of those under 65.”

Professor Adams believes the relaxed retiree lifestyle could contribute to the results.

“My feeling is their daytime demands are lower in general,” he says.

“They’ve got less time pressure; less general stress and more flexibility so don’t feel as fatigued.

“[But] it’s also possible that older Australians have learnt to mask their sleep problem with caffeine, as results show 28 per cent have 4-5 caffeinated drinks a day. If that’s the case that’s nothing to celebrate.”

Prof. Adams said the take home message was a positive one.

“I think many people will be happy to know that increasingly tiredness and fatigue are not an inevitable consequence of getting older. In fact, your sleep can actually improve with age.”

He warned that overall however, sleep issues reported in the study were quite significant, and any older Australians with concerns about their sleep should speak to their GP or a sleep specialist.

Sleep Health Foundation’s Dr Moira Junge says a good night’s sleep is vital for looking after your physical, cognitive and emotional health as you age.

“We know from large-scale international studies that sleeping well in young adulthood and middle age reduces the risk of obesity and hypertension, protects against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, and has been associated with decreased rates of depression,” said Dr Junge.

“In fact, in some studies good sleep has even been shown to be associated with fewer signs of ageing in facial skin and better tissue tone.

“Getting your forty winks can help you feel better, be better, and look better too.”

Do you get enough sleep? How do you wake in the morning? What keeps you awake at night? Why not partake in our Friday Flash Poll and help us put together a larger sample to send to Sleep Health Foundation?

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What's the secret to a good night's sleep? Tell us in the comments section below.





    COMMENTS

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    Flipsout
    15th Mar 2019
    11:24am
    No idea, I sleep ok usually.
    Paddington
    15th Mar 2019
    11:44am
    Sleep is so important. We are very worried about our daughter at the moment as she is having difficulty with sleeping properly.
    She has palpitations and other issues stemming from the palpitations.
    Unable to work at the moment and not getting any solutions although trying very hard to get a diagnosis.
    You don’t realise how important sleep is until you have someone with a debilitating sleep problem.
    Star Trekker
    15th Mar 2019
    9:27pm
    Get her to see a Cardiologist. My daughter has palpitations, she suffers from inappropriate sinus tachycardia syndrome and does not sleep well.
    musicveg
    16th Mar 2019
    2:14am
    I had anxiety and palpitations for awhile when I was having digestive problems, try getting some good quality probiotics for her digestion and then look at diet. Read Anthony Williams book "Liver rescue" it explains a lot about heart and health issues and what you can do.
    Paddington
    17th Mar 2019
    12:44am
    Thanks Star Trekker and musicveg, will look into all that.
    outlander
    15th Mar 2019
    11:56am
    I don't think there are any secrets to sleeping, you sleep or you don't.
    musicveg
    16th Mar 2019
    2:15am
    No there is something wrong if you do not sleep. We all need it to rejuvenate.
    Cheezil61
    15th Mar 2019
    12:35pm
    Of course the non-working are going to be less stressed about not having a good night sleep, not having to worry about being at work & perhaps killing someone if the stuff up at work would be a weight off the shoulders for sure! (not sure about anyone else but my workplace is dangerous at best of times, even worse considering it is rotating shift work & sleep is difficult thru the day for most of us at this job! It would be awesome to not have this pressure to 'just sleep'when trying to sleep, especially during the daytime when I'm gonna be working nightshift for 12hr stints at a time driving heavy equipment/machinery!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th Mar 2019
    12:43pm
    Always find being intimate gets us a good night's sleep.
    musicveg
    16th Mar 2019
    2:16am
    OGR you changed your name back.
    Jezemeg8
    15th Mar 2019
    12:53pm
    Turn off ALL screens including the TV, darken the room (use blockout curtains if like me you sleep during the day), make sure the window is open to allow fresh air to enter, and relax!
    KB
    15th Mar 2019
    1:35pm
    Meditation for me works. I agree everyone is different . The usual key points such as switching off from technology before sleep
    musicveg
    16th Mar 2019
    2:17am
    I always do a few yoga stretches before bed, taking in a few good breaths too. Releases all my tensions, if I have any.
    KB
    15th Mar 2019
    1:35pm
    Meditation for me works. I agree everyone is different . The usual key points such as switching off from technology before sleep
    Knows-a-lot
    15th Mar 2019
    4:43pm
    I have always slept badly, and suffer from panic attacks. The only thing I've found that helps is to control the rate of my breathing.
    musicveg
    16th Mar 2019
    2:19am
    Panic attacks is a sign of something not right with your nervous system, have you tried taking magnesium? Also read Anthony williams book "liver rescue".
    Troubadour
    15th Mar 2019
    4:46pm
    IF, and it is not often, I have trouble sleeping - I get up make a cup of hot milk and honey. Sit for a little while and then go back to bed and find I can get back off to sleep no worries. I also spray my pillow with a lavender spray,'lavender does really hep.
    Charlie
    15th Mar 2019
    8:25pm
    Not wanting to go to bed keeps me awake at night, then i get really tired
    musicveg
    16th Mar 2019
    2:20am
    Yes sometimes you are enjoying what you are doing late into the evening and don't feel tired, then you sleep in and the cycle is hard to break.
    musicveg
    16th Mar 2019
    2:11am
    Having a healthy diet will help you sleep, if you consume alcohol, a lot of sugar and fat your body has a hard time during the night when the liver is detoxing. All healing takes place when you sleep, so the more unhealthy you are the more likely your sleep will be disturbed. Look after your liver and you will feel more relaxed. Taking magnesium also helps as well as putting magnesium oil on our aches and pains before bed.


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