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By JEFFREY KRAUFE, Reuters A sleepover is a wonderful experience for the night.
But in some places, a sleepy, sleep-deprived family may not be as thrilled as you are.
Reuters/IHS Mark Thoma/Reuters A recent Reuters/Nielsen survey of adults aged 18 to 34 across the United States found that nearly one-third of people reported experiencing at least one sleepover at least once a month in the past year.
For many Americans, the thought of going to bed early may be a daily experience.
But a study of older adults suggests that they may not get the full benefits of a night of rest and relaxation.
Sleepover parties are a common part of families gatherings, especially for people with young children.
But the sleepover experience for older adults may not always be as relaxing as it may sound.
A Reuters/ICSA survey of over 1,200 adults aged 60 to 85 found that only 36% reported being “feeling sleepy” or “sleeping too much” after having a sleep-over party, compared to 70% of those aged over 60 and 76% of people aged 65 and over.
A recent study by the Sleep Disorders Association found that more than 40% of sleep-related injuries occur in older adults, including more than 70% among adults aged 65 years and older.
In some cases, injuries can be treated with medications.
But the study also found that many people who go to sleepovers do not get their full benefit from them.
In one recent study, researchers at the University of Colorado found that a majority of people surveyed said that “the amount of sleep was too much.”
In addition, there may be risks to going to sleepover parties, such as getting too little sleep and having a lack of appetite.
“Sleepovers are not for everybody,” says Dr. Peter Diamandis, professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic.
“They can be dangerous.”
Sleepovers can also be a stressor for older people, who may feel more exhausted after a night out than they normally would.
“Many people are afraid of the sleepovers because they can feel the stress of not having enough sleep, and not being able to be with their families and friends,” says Diamis.
For older adults who do not feel tired after a sleep over, it may be important to take time for yourself and to let go of a negative attachment to a sleep party.
“It can be helpful to have a break or some time to reflect on how you’ve spent the last night,” says Professor Diamas.
“You may find that you have been doing things that you normally would have been too busy to do.”
Some studies have shown that older adults can have more positive emotions than younger adults.
But many older adults have negative emotions, too, which can prevent them from experiencing the full joy of a nighttime sleepover party.
“There is a tendency for older folks to be very guarded, but that is not necessarily the case,” says Daniela Lago, a research psychologist at the Medical College of Georgia.
“There is the ability for older individuals to be more expressive, so it may not work for everyone.”
But it may also be beneficial for older adult children and parents to attend a sleepovers with their parents.
“We know that sleepovers can be very helpful in helping older adults feel better and feel more comfortable in their lives, but if parents want to help older children be more relaxed, it can be a great opportunity,” says Lago.
For those who have not had a sleepparty, the most important thing is to have an enjoyable experience, Diamases says.
“When you’re with someone, there is so much going on in their world, and there is a great sense of belonging.
They can really feel connected to you.”
Follow Reuters Health Writer Caroline M. Craven at Twitter.com/carolccraven and @laurasmack on Twitter.