People who rate their sleep as suboptimal also tend to feel older and perceive aging, both mentally and physically, more negatively than those who rate their sleep more positive. This is the conclusion reached by Serena Sabatini, a researcher at the University of Exeter, who, in a statement published today on the university’s website, explains that some people may have a more negative perception of their own aging than others, which in turn can affect not only their mental health but also their physical health.

It is therefore important to understand what makes these people psychologically weaker in relation to advancing age, as this also seems to have obvious health consequences. The researcher believes that a more in-depth study of the difficulties related to sleep could be useful to promote a better perception of his own aging.
The researcher came to this particular conclusion by analyzing the responses of 4,482 people aged 50 and over. The answers were given online and the same participants were also asked to take regular tests on their cognitive lifestyle.

The researchers noted that participants often commented on their relationship to sleep and how sleep affected their feeling of “old age.” It was because of these comments that the researcher conducted further tests with additional questions specifically related to sleep. The questions focused on negative age-related changes that participants may have experienced on their own, such as lower memory, greater dependence on others, lower motivation, etc. This second set of questions also focused on the quality of sleep. These questions had to be answered twice within a year of each other.
The results were published in a study in the journal Behavioral Sleep Medicine entitled “Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between subjective sleep difficulties and self-perceptions of aging”.

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