Seek Out A Boring Nightlife, for The Sake of Your Sleep

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Sleep

Everybody sleeps, whether they think they do or not. The quality of sleep can change as we age and develop habits and physical ailments that can fragment that sleep that used to come so easily. Eventually, we each may assume that our messed-up sleep patterns are the norm.

"People become accustomed to 'what is usual for me,'" says Dr. Carol Landis, professor of biobehavioral nursing and health systems at the University of Washington School of Nursing. "If Uncle Charlie always falls asleep after eating, or if being unable to stay awake during the afternoon is a constant, you tend to think that's the way life is. Consuming several caffeine-laden drinks per day is what some people consider normal. The fact that someone is so sleepy during the day or after meals may be an indication that they have a sleep disorder, or that their sleep habits are a problem."

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People sometimes believe that the need for sleep declines as we age, but Landis' research and experience as a health care practitioner leads her to believe that this is a myth. She says the importance of sleep doesn't change as we move through adulthood. What changes is the ability to sleep.

"There are particular sleep disorders that tend to have a higher prevalence in older adults than in younger adults," she says. "If you have a sleep disorder or a condition like arthritis, depending on the amount of symptoms, you may have trouble sleeping the way you used to."

Once you have

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