Poor sleep in the over 50s is linked to more negative perceptions of aging, which in turn can impact physical, mental and cognitive health, new research has revealed.
A study led by the University of Exeter found that people who rated their sleep the worst also felt older, and perceived their own physical and mental aging more negatively.
Lead author Serena Sabatini, of the University of Exeter, said: “As we age, we all experience both positive and negative changes in many areas of our lives. However, some people perceive more negative changes than others. As we know that having a negative perception of aging can be detrimental to future physical health, mental health, and cognitive health, an open question in aging research is to understand what makes people more negative about aging. Our research suggests that poor sleepers feel older, and have a more negative perception of their aging. We need to study this further – one explanation could be that a more negative outlook influences both. However, it could be a sign that addressing sleep difficulties could promote a better perception of aging, which could have other health benefits.”