Upon hearing the word “ageing,” virtually everyone comes up with the idea of an old person with a wrinkly face and a forgetful, grumpy disposition. Science, however, disagrees with the stereotype. Although age canindeed make some seniors grumpy, wrinkly, and forgetful, this isn’t always the case.
A recent study, for instance, says that people actually get happier with age. This alone goes against what we traditionally know about ageing. Beyond this, let’s take a look at how the mind and the body change over time – with some backing from science.
A More Positive Mindset
People think that older people have rigid beliefs, but studies say otherwise. Surveys show that the more a person ages, the more open and liberal they become regarding different issues on society.
Age has no hold over emotional responses, too. This means that seniors do enjoy a good laugh just as much as everyone does.
Moreover, studies show that adults, in general, have a more positive outlook in life the more they age. Of course, well-being and lifestyle factors do come into play here, but at least we know now that grumpiness isn’t always due to age.
A Reduced Need for Sleep
Older adults have a lower required number of sleep every day. Compared to a 20-something, people over 66 need 43 minutes less sleep, says a study from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School.
Other studies have a clearer explanation of why this is the case. Australia-based home care assistance provider RDNS.com.au explains that older adults tend to have more trouble getting the right amount of sleep they need. In effect, this takes them longer to reach deep sleep and stay asleep. Insomnia also proves to be a prevalent condition among seniors.
A Body with Sagging Skin
People over 50 start to experience sagging skin. This is a clear sign that age is starting to take its toll on the body. This is because the epidermis, the skin’s outer layer, starts to thin. The skin loses its elasticity at the same time. On top of this, the facial bones in the jaw, cheeks, and eye socket wear down. All these things contribute to saggy skin.
At least for science, the stereotypes of ageing simply don’t hold true. Although there are many changes in the body and the mind of a senior, these changes don’t always result in the grumpy and forgetful senior we all imagine – and science backs this up.