If you’re male, in your 30s, and deathly tired, chances are you’re a dad. Prolonged lack of sleep has long been considered the domain of parenthood, but according to a new study, it’s not the kids that are keeping you up. (Really.)
Recent research has revealed that once men hit their thirty-somethings, restorative deep sleep (also known as delta sleep) can become increasingly hard to come by – declining by up to 50 percent.
What happens next is no doubt a familiar scenario: brainfog and general lethargy in the daylight hours, and a chronic inability to switch off your ticking brain the second you hit the sack. What’s more, you may not even link up your symptomatic physical malaise with being short on shuteye —
“The older adult brain appears to be sleep deprived, but it has fewer active receptors to sense that,” says study co-author and neuroscientist Bryce Mander. “It might be that there is a sleep need, and it’s building and it’s chronic, but the brain is somehow less sensitive to it.”
The reason? Brain ageing. Once you enter your third decade, a physiological mechanism necessary for keeping you at rest appears to break down abruptly, and sleep quality takes a dive.
In short; what they say about life after 30 could very well be true – it’s all downhill from here.
The bright side is that you don’t have to freak out anymore when your kid wakes up every hour on the hour — you were never gonna get sleep anyway.