5 Surprising Facts About Health and Happiness Through the Decades

There’s a lot to look forward to in the years ahead

Happy older couple

Why try to turn back the clock when you can keep it rolling? 

People are beginning to see more positives of aging,” says Shevaun Neupert, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, who studies aging. “Rather than being fearful of aging, they can look forward to it.”

After all, men and women are enjoying longer, healthier lives than ever before, according to a recent Harvard University study using Medicare data. And according to research from the Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults age 75 and older say that their lives have turned out even better than they expected.

Here are five unexpected things that make your 70s, 80s, and 90s so great:

  1. You’ll Be Just as Smart, If Not Smarter

Scientists used to think that the brain was destined to slow down by your 70s, but new researchfrom Columbia University suggests that older brains can perform just as well as they did in their younger years. The keys to staying sharp: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and veggies, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and don’t smoke.

  1. Your Allergies Might Calm Down 

While you may still have some allergies in your older years, they likely won’t be nearly as severe as they once were. That means you can enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling and camping, even during peak pollen season. 

  1. Your Love for Others Will Expand

People in their 80s tend to feel closer to their partners than do people of any other age group, according to research from the University of Manchester. So, if you have a significant other in your life when you hit the big 8-0, your bond might very well be stronger than ever.  

  1. You’ll Get the Best Sleep of Your Life 

Ah, a good night’s sleep, finally! It appears that sleep quality improves through the decades, with the fewest sleep complaints coming from people in their 80s, according to research published in the journal Sleep.  

  1. You’ll Probably Be Less Stressed

Called “the fourth age,” the 90s are a time when people are their most relaxed and able to enjoy the little things. Around this time, adults say they feel less stress, have fewer money worries, and are able to enjoy more quality time with their families. It’s no wonder that people in their 90s tend to have the highest levels of overall gratitude.