This is not to say that older people don't sleep! But a lot of folks do like play into the stereotype that older adults are constantly falling asleep, whether it be during meetings or their grandkid's dance recital or that they just go to bed at 3 pm. However, a new study shows that older folks actually deal with sleep deprivation better than their younger counterparts:
"The older adults -- ages 59-82 years -- showed more resiliency to total sleep deprivation than young adults -- ages 19-38 years -- on a range of measures of cognitive performance, including working memory, selective attention/inhibition, and verbal encoding and retrieval. Performance of young adults significantly declined on all three tasks during total sleep deprivation while that of older adults did not change significantly."
So next time your kid makes fun of you for falling asleep at the TV, challenge them to a sleep deprivation contest to see who handles it better!