Duration of sleep increases while sleeping difficulties decrease after retirement

December 8, 2017, University of Turku
Duration of sleep increases and sleeping difficulties decrease after retirement
Credit: University of Turku

When people retire from work life, they sleep approximately 20 minutes longer than before retirement. The quality of sleep also improves, as retired people experience fewer early morning awakenings or nonrestorative sleep, unlike those in their last working years.

Researchers at the University of Turku, Finland, along with their collaborators, discovered that self-reported duration of sleep increased approximately 20 minutes after retirement, and stayed on the achieved level for years after retirement. Duration of sleep increased especially for who reported sleep difficulties or were heavy alcohol users prior to retirement. The duration of sleep increased the most for people who did not get enough sleep during their employment, and they slept 45 minutes longer during their retirement.

"A sufficient amount of sleep is very important for our health and functioning. Individuals have different needs of sleep, but it is recommended for people over the age of 65 to sleep for 7-8 hours a night. Retiring enables people to sleep longer, as work schedules no longer determine the times for sleeping and waking up," says doctoral candidate Saana Myllyntausta from the University of Turku, whose dissertation research is part of the study.

During their last years of employment, sleep difficulties were experienced by 30 percent of subjects. After retiring, only 26 percent were experiencing sleep difficulties. The researchers discovered that among different kinds of sleep difficulties, people experienced the greatest decrease via early morning awakenings and nonrestorative sleep, in which a person experiences tiredness and fatigue after sleeping for a regular . Sleep difficulties decreased especially among people who reported their work as stressful, and their health as poor before retirement. Sleep difficulties decreased the most for people who experienced psychological distress before retirement.

"For example, work-related stress is known to disturb sleep. One reason for the decrease in sleeping difficulties during could be the removal of work-related stress," says Myllyntausta.

The study followed approximately 5,800 people who participated in the Finnish Public Sector study by the Finnish Institution of Occupational Health and who retired on a statutory basis in 2000-2011. The participants estimated their and the prevalence of different kinds of in surveys before and after retiring.

Explore further: Sleep duration may affect the integrity of sperm DNA

More information: Saana Myllyntausta et al, Changes in Sleep Difficulties During the Transition to Statutory Retirement, Sleep (2017). DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsx182

Related Stories

Sleep duration may affect the integrity of sperm DNA

October 16, 2017
A new study found a link between sleep duration and a measure of chromosomal health in sperm. The findings are published in the Journal of Sleep Research.

Sleep and Alzheimer's disease connection

October 17, 2017
How often do you get a good night's sleep? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend adults get an average of at least seven hours of sleep a night. Dr. Ronald Petersen, a Mayo Clinic neurologist, says ...

Short and long sleep, and sleep disturbances associated with increased risk of dementia and lung cancer

May 24, 2017
Difficulties in initiating or maintaining sleep at middle-age are associated with an increased risk of dementia, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. The 20-year follow-up study was conducted among ...

Preterm children have more medical sleep problems but fall asleep more independently

September 21, 2017
A new study suggests that while healthy preterm children have more medical sleep problems than full-term children, they are more likely to fall asleep independently.

How much sleep do you really need?

July 20, 2017
(HealthDay)—Health initiatives typically center on diet and fitness. But the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society state that getting enough sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising.

Recommended for you

As we get parched, cognition can easily sputter, dehydration study says

July 17, 2018
Anyone lost in a desert hallucinating mirages knows that extreme dehydration discombobulates the mind. But just two hours of vigorous yard work in the summer sun without drinking fluids could be enough to blunt concentration, ...

Study shows that people most affected by alcohol also most impacted by sleep deprivation

July 17, 2018
A team of researchers from the German Aerospace Center and Forschungszentrum Jülich has found that people who are most susceptible to alcohol intoxication are also most susceptible to cognitive problems due to sleep deprivation. ...

Self-control and obesity: Gender matters in children

July 16, 2018
A toddler's self-regulation—the ability to change behavior in different social situations—may predict whether he or she will be obese come kindergarten, but the connection appears to be much different for girls than for ...

1 in 9 U.S. adults over 45 reports memory problems

July 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—If you're middle-aged and you think you're losing your memory, you're not alone, a new U.S. government report shows.

Antioxidant benefits of sleep

July 12, 2018
Understanding sleep has become increasingly important in modern society, where chronic loss of sleep has become rampant and pervasive. As evidence mounts for a correlation between lack of sleep and negative health effects, ...

Footwear habits influence child and adolescent motor skill development

July 11, 2018
New research finds that children and adolescents who spend most of their time barefoot develop motor skills differently from those who habitually wear shoes. Published in Frontiers in Pediatrics, this is the first study to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.