Sleep is not the same over a human life time. The time to fall asleep, the efficiency of sleep, and the amount of sleep vary with age. I found a great article about age-related changes in sleep patterns and thought it is of general interest to show some of the graphs that show these changes. It also shows that there is a difference between depressed and normal people. Read on to see them.
I found this in an article called "Age-related changes in sleep in depressed and normal subjects" by Gillin and colleagues published in the journal Psychiatry Research (vol 4, nr. 1) in 1981. They did all-night electroencephalography during sleep of people diagnosed with depression (78 people in total) and controls (who were not diagnosed as depressed, 36 in total). Both groups of people were unmedicated.
They found that healthy (non-depressed) people sleep more than depressed people.
Interestingly the total sleep time of sleep decreases over age. This trend is very much pronounced in depressed people. Another chart shows that the REM latency (the time to reach REM sleep) decreases over time, so people over age, become better with age in reaching REM sleep.
They also found that depressed people took longer to fall asleep as evidenced in the graph below.
From looking at the other charts, the time to wake up seemed to be inversely correlated on the latency (time to fall asleep) and of sleep duration. Depressed people took much longer to wake up. Depressed people not only sleep less, but also they wake up more frequently during the night.
(Please note, that the colors are inverted for depressed and healthy people (between the two graphs.)
Enjoy. Please leave a comment below for questions and suggestions.
[ Read more... ]