What to Read Next

Sleep gets better with age

Nadine Bells
Shine On
March 6, 2012
older woman sleeping
older woman sleeping

Scientists and researchers have long believed that older adults "have trouble getting a good night's rest," more so than their younger counterparts. Turns out that's not true.

A new study, published in the journal Sleep, found that young men are twice as likely to report sleeping problems than adults over 80. Similarly, young women are 1.61 times more likely to complain of sleep issues than those decades older.

"This flies in the face of popular belief," said lead author, Michael Grandner, in a statement. "These results force us to rethink what we know about sleep in older people — men and women."

Researchers analyzed data from a 2006 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which asked 155,877 adults about their sleep quality. Participants were asked to gauge their daytime tiredness levels and sleep disturbances by answering the following questions:

"Over the last two weeks, how many days have you had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or sleeping too much?" and "Over the last two weeks, how many days have you felt tired or had little energy?"

[See also: How to live to 100, starting today]

Each surveyed adult was also asked about race, mood, health, income and education. The findings pointed to stress, depression and illness as greater sleep-quality indicators than biological age.

"This study shows that older people are not more likely to complain of sleep problems or daytime tiredness, relative to younger people, if you take demographics, socioeconomics, health, access to care, and depressed mood out of the equation," Grandner told MSNBC.

"Getting older does not necessarily mean that you will experience poor sleep and daytime tiredness," Grandner told WebMD. "If you do experience these things, they may be due to a medical or other issue, and not necessarily a degradation of sleep."

Why do younger people experience more sleep problems? Grandner speculates that the stresses of mid-life — juggling demanding careers and raising families — might be to blame.

"For men, workplace issues may also be a likely culprit, as that age is associated with peaks in heart disease risk, stress, and sleep apnea," he said of mid-life sleep issues.

"Older people have more stressors in their life, but they also seem to be better able to handle those stressors," Grandner adds.

Another possible explanation for the surprise findings? Smithsonian's Virginia Hughes writes, "As people get older, they tend to lower their standards of what it means to be healthy. So it could be that these seniors simply have a rosier opinion of their sleep patterns than other, more objective measures suggest."

Grandner agrees: "Even if sleep among older Americans is actually worse than in younger adults, feelings about it still improve with age."

Think you'll never get a good night's sleep again? Just wait until you're 80.

Don't want to wait that long? Check out these tips for getting the best sleep of your life.

More from Shine on Yahoo! Canada

Sleeping can help fight stress
Stretches for instant calm
5 reasons getting older is awesome

This $625 Intro Bonus Is Insane

A leading credit card issuer just raised its intro bonus to an industry-leading $500 cash or $625 in travel. And no annual fee the first year.

Free Workshop in Washington DC Area, Feb. 27!

Discover the power of stocks and options trading at this FREE Stock Success Workshop! Save your spot now and receive a free silver bar for attending!

Bad News For Insurance, Great News For Virginia

Virginia drivers, with cars and good driving records are learning that they may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Do you qualify?

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Consolidate your Student Loans by Refinancing

Refinance your student loans to a lower rate with SoFi. Find out how much you can save!

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Loudoun’s Lowest Priced 3-Level Garage Townhomes

Westridge in Aldie offers the lowest-priced, 3-level townhomes from the upper $200s. The Hepburn offers optional 4th level lofts & outdoor decks!

Pay off Your High Interest Credit Cards and Save

Borrow up to $35,000, with rates as low as 5.99% APR. Consolidate credit card debt and save with a cash loan. Compare rates and save at LendingTree.

New Year, New Resume.

Start the year off strong with a brand new resume! Visit the TopResume™ official site to get started today!

Pay $0 to file your taxes again this year

TurboTax Absolute Zero is back again. $0 Fed. $0 State. $0 to File. Your taxes done right. File your simple return with Zero hidden costs.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!