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Restful sleep more important than longer sleep, study says

Waking up tired

Waking up tired "despite accumulating substantial hours of sleep" may be connected to health or psychological problems, researchers say. Credit: iStock

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, quality is more important than quantity.

In several recent surveys of adults 50 and older, about half the people reported they frequently suffer from insomnia. But a new study from the University of Chicago indicates that many older adults who say they have insomnia are actually getting more than enough sleep. The problem: Their sleep is not restful, so they wake up tired.

The study, published this month in the Journals of Gerontology, found that "older adults' perception of sleep does not always match what's actually happening."

Researchers noted that waking up tired "despite accumulating substantial hours of sleep" may be connected to health or psychological problems.

The take-away: Don't assume you are tired because of insomnia. Instead of asking your physician for a sleep-aid prescription, get a complete physical.

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