As opposed to older adults who have trouble sleeping as they age, older healthy folks who don't have sleep disorders apparently don't actually need as much sleep as their younger counterparts, and are less sleepy during the day. According to a new study, it seems that the older you get, the less you sleep:
Older adults sleep about 20 minutes less than middle-age adults who, in turn, sleep 23 minutes less than young adults. It also finds that while older adults awaken more often at night as they get older, and their deep, slow-wave sleep decreases, they show less need for a nap during the day. "Our findings reaffirm the theory that it is not normal for older people to be sleepy during the daytime," said principal investigator Derk-Jan Dijk, Ph.D., professor of sleep and physiology at the University of Surrey in the U.K.
Check out info on a good night's sleep in this AARP piece, which talks about how beneficial sleep is for memory consolidation and information processing in the brain, possibly even the immune system too -- and includes tips on how to have good sleep hygiene.