Researchers Say Sleep Gets Better as One Ages

March 31, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. equipment (n.) – set of tools or devices used for a special purpose
Example: The clinic is complete with all the necessary medical equipment.

2. complaint (n.) –  expression of one’s dissatisfaction, pain, anger and other such emotion
Example:   Customers can make a complaint if they do not like the restaurant’s service.

3. adjust (v.) – to change something for a better fit or match
Example: The employee adjusted his schedule so that he could work in another part-time job.

4. drawback (n.) – disadvantage; something that may cause problems
Example: Cutting trees has environmental drawbacks.

5. myth (n.) – something many believe to be true but is usually false
Example:  It is only a myth that dreams come true.

Read the text below.

According to a US study, the belief that older people have worse sleeping patterns may only be a myth.

Researchers from the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed 150,000 adults via telephone. The subjects were asked about the quality of their sleep, as well as their race, income, education, mood and general health.

The data were then adjusted to make up for poor health and depression, both of which affect sleep, and a clear relation between age and sleep quality was seen.

The results showed that apart from people in their 40s, older adults actually feel better about their sleep. Researchers learned that complaints about poor sleep decreased as age increased, with the least number of complaints coming from adults 70 years old and above.

Meanwhile, adults over 80 years old reported the best sleep.  However, middle-aged people said their sleep quality was generally poor.

Usually, sleep studies use equipment to measure how long and how well a person is able to sleep. But equipment data do not always match study volunteers’ opinions about the quality of their sleep.  This is why the new study tried to ask only about sleep quality.

Dr. Michael Grandner said it is also possible that even if the older adults really did get poor sleep, they did not feel too bad about it.

Other sleep experts find the study interesting; although the drawback of the results is that the subjects’ moods during the survey may have affected their answers.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do you feel about aging? Do you worry about it?
·         Should people be afraid of aging? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you feel when you lack sleep?
·         What do you do when you did not get enough sleep?


March 31, 2012