This Is Why Time Seems To Speed Up As You Get Older

“Wow! This year has gone by so quickly!” We’ve heard it dozens of times. Haven’t we?

Good news would be hours and days may seem to go by at a comparatively normal speed, or even slowly, depending upon what we’re doing. However, bad news would be as we grow older, we feel as if the years are flying very fast.


According to author Adrian Bejan from Duke University, he says that inconsistencies between “clock time” and “mind time” are responsible for the apparent hastening of our lives.

In a statement, Bejan said that “the human mind senses time changing when the perceived images change.” In other words, “the present is different from the past because the mental viewing has changed, not because somebody’s clock rings.”

He also writes that the rate at which changes in mental images are perceived decreases with age. The reason would be children are able to obtain and process more mental images per second than grownups are, their days feel like they are tied up with more time. As an example, your first Christmases as a child seemed like they took forever to reach, whereas now, they feel as if they arrive the day after Thanksgiving!

Our eyes are continuously moving and it has processed an image it switches its focus to something else. Small rapid jerky movement of the eye especially as it jumps from fixation on one point to another, this called saccades. So they are detached by short motionless periods called fixations, so the eye fixes its gaze on a particular image.

According to previous research, it has indicated that the eye of an adult makes three to five saccades per second, punctuated by fixations of 200 to 300 milliseconds. However, fixation times are significantly shorter for children, therefore they are capable to make more saccades and take in more images per second.

As we age it takes longer for our brains to process information being received by the retina. As per the Bejan’s view, it is as we grow progressively complex neural networks as we get age, which means that signals have further to travel in order to reach separate parts of the brain. Degradation to neuronal pathways also means that these electrical signals experience more resistance, so are slowed down.

It is also evident that we experience our lives like time-lapse photography. The reason is the more photos that are taken per second, the slower the movement of time seems. Therefore, as we start to increase the break between each photograph, the more movement happens between each frame, giving the illusion that events are happening faster.

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