Many people experience a decline in sleep quality as they age. It becomes increasingly difficult to fall and stay asleep. Often, this is due to naturally-occurring changes in the way we sleep. The older we get, the more time we spend in the lighter stages of sleep.
The good news is that a new study published in PLOS Biology suggests age-related sleep decline may be preventable and even reversible.
Although it may sound strange, the researchers studied fruit flies to learn more about age-related sleep changes. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is actually used in aging research frequently, in particular because its sleep patterns are similar to humans’. For example, they sleep at night and are active during the day, and they even experience a decline in sleep quality as they age.