Older adults generally experience changing sleep patterns as they age. In fact, a national poll by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, found that 46% of older adults had trouble falling asleep at least one night a week and 15% had trouble sleeping three or more nights a week.
Now researchers at the University of Kent in Kent, England, have found that receptors in the brain might be the cause of these sleep issues, according to a March 28 article on MedicalDaily.com.
Researchers studied older and younger groups mice and found a difference in the NMDA receptors, which are responsible for light information and resetting circadian rhythms. In the older mice, a component in the NMDA receptor decreased.
“The breakthrough could help in designing treatments that aim to improve both physiological and behavioral circadian clock ‘resetting’ in older people,” the article states.