Why sleep is harder to come by as you age

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.

sleep old age adults

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.