7 Facts About Aging You Didn't Know
Getting old may look like you're slowly approaching a slow-paced lifestyle, but it's more than that. There are also numerous perks to growing older that many people don't talk about. After all, you're entering the golden years of your life, so that's got to mean something, right?
There are many things about people above 80 that people don't know about, such as how much they sleep, the calories they need, and their eyesight. Here are 7 facts about aging you didn't know.
1. Early To Bed, Early To Rise
Many people think that the elderly either sleep too much or too little. While some people over the age of 80 do wake up a couple of times a night, on the whole, the amount of sleep they get remains the same. It stands at approximately 7 hours a night, which is a healthy amount.
What does change is their sleeping pattern, and that's a normal part of aging. Older adults tend to get tired sooner, so they go to bed early. This means they wake up early, too, often at the crack of dawn, which is great! Getting up early is better for your body and leaves you with more energy throughout the day.
2. Eat Better, Live Healthier
As people age, their activity level and basal metabolic rates drop, and their appetite typically decreases. This may make it difficult for them to maintain an appropriate nutritional intake.
Typically, aging men require around 2,000 calories, while women need 1,600 calories. This is less than what an active young adult would require.
Typically, a healthy diet for the elderly is made up of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, healthy fats, and high-fiber foods.
3. Get A Healthy Eyesight
As we age, it's normal for eyes to age too. So, changes in performance are expected, but don't worry! It's nothing that a pair of corrective eyeglasses can't solve. Half of all Americans also have cataracts by the time they celebrate their 80th birthday.
However, taking care of your general health can do wonders for your eyes. Eating right, regular exercise, staying hydrated, and not smoking are a few things that can keep your eyes healthy.
4. Say Goodbye To Migraines
In general, women experience more headaches than men, but there's some good news for people who suffer from migraines. They tend to disappear with age! Only 10% of women and 5% of men complain of migraine headaches after 70.
Elderly people with migraines tend to also experience minimal pain. Instead, they may experience visual or sensory disturbances, which could be uncomfortable – but not painful!
5. Love Is In The Air
Contrary to popular belief, aging people are still looking for love. While marriage rates have dropped considerably among younger generations, they're increasing among the elderly! More than half of men (55 percent) over 80 are married or involved in a relationship.
People also expect a decrease in sexual activity as a person ages, but that's not necessarily true! 46% of 65- to 70-year-olds and 25% of 76- to 80-year-olds reported being sexually active.
6. A Longer, Happier Life
Advancements in health care are helping individuals stay healthier and live longer. By 2040, the senior population above 85 will triple from 5.7 million to 14.1 million. The US Census Bureau states this is the fastest-growing age group in the US.
Aging is also associated with physical changes such as wrinkles. However, research shows that a mere 30% of aging factors are linked to genetics, and 70% are influenced by your lifestyle choices. This means you can actually control these 'aging signs.'
The stereotype of the ‘grumpy old man’ is also wrong, according to science. You’re actually more agreeable and happier as you age.
7. Age Doesn't Limit Success
You're never too old to learn new things. Exercising the body and the mind can help your brain, according to research. Studies revealed that healthy older men and women can generate new brain cells, and this process can continue well into your 90s. These new neurons can give the elderly the power to fight off dementia.
When you reach your 70s or 80s, you also get to utilize all the knowledge you’ve learned over the years. This is something called ‘crystallized intelligence,’ and we’ve seen a lot of instances of older people achieving a lot.
Benjamin Franklin retired from public service at 82, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his scientific works at 75, Sarah Bernhardt did her last stage performance when she was 78, and George Bernard Shaw was working on his last play at 94. Age sets no boundaries, so don't let a number stop you!
Even though older individuals are seen to be more vulnerable and in need of help, they're still actively thriving and full of life. Since they're less likely to be stressed about everyday issues, people over 80 often live happier lives too! So, if you’re scared about aging – you now have 7 reasons not to be.