Geriatrics: How Much Sleep Past 60?

An old wives' tale has it that people pass 60 they need less sleep; a standard medical textbook known all doctors as "Best and Taylor"* solemnly avers that such elders need five to seven hours. Where do the medical authorities get such information? Probably from the old wives' tale, suggests Dr. Philip M. Tiller Jr. of New Orleans: so far as he can tell, there are no data to support the statement. And judging from his patients, it just isn't so.

Dr. Tiller studied 83 mentally alert and physically active office patients, all 60 or older. When he divided them up...

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