Even people who have always had their sheets stuck together seem to enjoy getting up before dawn as they get older. Well, not that they liked it. They don’t need more sleep. Older people sleep lessthis is reality, but why?

In fact, there are many reasons that can affect this. For example, routine changes, they tend to go to bed earlier, which also means they wake up earlier. They may not be as tired if they are not as active as when they were younger. Or enjoy other activities. But all this is quite individual. Now yes, there is two reasons There are much more common reasons why older people sleep less.

The first is related to his brain and the second with his eyes. And both are associated with Heart rhythms. Therefore, in order to understand them, the first thing we must do is remember what exactly they consist of.

What are circadian rhythms?

Circadian rhythms are those that control many of our physiological needs in cycles 24 hours. The most common ones are those related to sleep; because, barring exceptions, this is what we do every day. We wake up in the morning, do our daily tasks, and go to bed in the evening. Day after day.

What else is changing? periodically how long are the days? Light! It will be different in every season and in every place of the world; But in general, light also follows 24-hour cycles. Therefore, this is the link our brain uses to know when it will arrive. it’s time to sleep or wake up.

Light penetrates the retina and reaches an area of ​​the brain known as suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is responsible for regulating circadian rhythms. In the case of sleep, it is controlled primarily by the release of melatonin. This hormone is released at night, in dark conditions, and begins to slow down in daylight. Therefore, when melatonin levels are high, we sleep, and when they decrease, we are awake.

Both circadian rhythms in general and sleep in particular are controlled many other factors. But this is enough to understand why older people sleep less.

The eyes are no longer what they were

Vision usually deteriorates with age. In fact, many older people develop waterfallsa condition characterized by the appearance lens opacity. The lens is the lens that is responsible for focusing light onto the retina. Therefore, if such a veil appears on the lens, not enough light will reach it, and the brain will not be fully aware of when it is day and when it is night.

This is one of the reasons why older people sleep less. Levels melatonin At night they decrease because the difference in illumination compared to the day is not that great. This happens to people with cataracts, but also to others because vision in general deteriorates over time.

As we get older, the light hitting the retina changes. Credit: Hanlin (Unsplash)

Another reason why older people sleep less

Even if a person is mentally healthy, with age his brain becomes less sensitive for certain incentives. And among these stimuli there are those that are processed in suprachiasmatic nucleus.

This is why older people sleep less. They tend to get tired earlier in the day and wake up as well. earlier in the morning. Day and night are not so different, and the nature of fatigue is different.

It should be said that all this is not bad. Just as we should assume that as we age we may experience gray hair and wrinkles on our skin, so too will our sleep habits. Ideally, this should be your biggest concern about aging. Unfortunately, there are worse things. Let’s let science take care of finding a solution without worrying about problems like sleep, which, as long as we feel rested, are nothing more than minor issues.

Source: Hiper Textual

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