How a clock measures time and how you perceive it are quite different. As we grow older, it can often feel like time goes by faster and faster. This speeding up of subjective time with age is well documented by psychologists, but there is no consensus on the cause. In a paper published this month, Professor Adrian Bejan presents an argument based on the physics of neural signal processing. He hypothesizes that, over time, the rate at which we process visual information slows down, and this is what makes time ‘speed up’ as we grow older.

As we age, he argues, the size and complexity of the networks of neurons in our brains increases – electrical signals must traverse greater distances and thus signal processing takes more time. Moreover, ageing causes our nerves to accumulate damage that provides resistance to the flow of electric signals, further slowing processing time. Focusing on visual perception, Bejan posits that slower processing times result in us perceiving fewer ‘frames-per-second’ – more actual time passes between the perception of each new mental image. This is what leads to time passing more rapidly.When we are young, each second of actual time is packed with many more mental images. Like a slow-motion camera that captures thousands of images per second, time appears to pass more slowly.

As he puts it: “People are often amazed at how much they remember from days that seemed to last forever in their youth. It’s not that their experiences were much deeper or more meaningful, it’s just that they were being processed in rapid fire.”

Bejan’s argument is intuitive and based on simple principles of physics and biology. As such, it is a compelling explanation for this common phenomenon. However, it is not the only explanation out there, and so a more rigorous experimental approach may be required before this mystery is solved for good.

Managing Correspondent: Rory Maizels

Original article: Why the Days Seem Shorter as We Get Older – European Review

Media coverage: It’s spring already? Physics explains why time flies as we age – Science Daily; Physics explains why time passes faster as you age – Quartz

Image Credit: Aron Visuals

170 thoughts on “No, It’s Not Just You: Why time “speeds up” as we get older

  1. I am 64 years old and have noticed how time seems to be flying by. As a result, I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. I believe a good part of this has to do with perception. If my life span was 250 years long, I do not think that time would appear to be flying by.

    1. That’s one of the reasons I never accept the theory that we are the some total of our experience, the Doctor is convinced humans are biologic computers and being human is much more than that! For instance all life down to the smallest virus contain information stored in the DNA, Doctor!

    2. It’s a relative thing. Einstein theory. As we get older each year is a small er part of our life. When I was 10 each year was 1 tenth of my life. I’m now 67 each year 1 67th of my life

      1. This is my opinion as well. It makes the most sense and I feel age relative to it’s perportion of my life.

      2. I agree… I have often thought your brain is a collection of all of YOUR experiences so if you are 4, you have had 4 birthdays, 4 Christmas’s, 4 summers etc. so everything you have collected in your brain related to time is divided by those events. The duration until the next summer is 1/4 of your total time memory.
        At 24? it is 1/24 of your total time memory so you start looking for a new swimsuit in April..
        At 84? Well, if you are still counting… it takes a load more time memory dividing than 4. On the plus side you probably wouldn’t be caught dead in a swimsuit! No worries!!!

        1. I used to think that for a long time, but an alternative just popped into mind that I suspect is actually what is happening. A child sleeps in such a manner that each morning when it wakes up it is like a new being. As we age this capacity for sleep to complete dissolve our feeling of the past fades and as it fades, like an old coat we start to grow as we age which more and more highlights our life as a continuum.
          It is almost impossible for person as an adult to experience how they slept as a child, or the degree to which sleep cleaned out automated processes from which we derive our sense of the passage of time. But under certain unusual but natural conditions it can happen. But its possible there is a reason why it biologically happens like this. As we age responsibilities arise that would make the sort of sleep a very young child has impractical.

          1. What in the world does all that mean about SLEEP as a child???
            What does ir have to do with time speeding up??

          2. ” Every day is the first day of the rest of your life . ”
            I am reassured that intelligent life still exists in the universe after reading this article and the great insights that come about …MAY your journey be blessed.

        2. I like this explanation, it aligns with what I was told by a psychologist many years ago. Simply put, we obviously have a limited amount of memories to pull and reflect on, and they obviously accumulate, very slowly. So as we age, we have more memories to reflect on, thus giving the perception of time to go faster and faster. Slow and steady reality when we are new to the world. And as our memories become more similar and not that different since we are creatures of habit and our memories begin to overlap, time feels like it is going faster.

          1. Just recently I’ve noticed how fast the week goes by especially by Tuesdays. Why Tuesdays speed into the end of the week when time slows a bit.
            It is hard to believe it was almost a year ago the riot at the US Capital happened too.
            Maybe as we slow our physical lives down we sense a greater change in time—we can experience more from our past lives of memories too. All things are connected so to our senses of sight, sound, touch, etc.

      3. That’s it. Perception of time is inversely proportional to age . It is relative like how things appear to get smaller as you grow taller. I can’t actually recall growing but can remember clothes being too small and the enormous teddy being quite small.

        1. I agree it seems there’s a lot of things mentioned here to take into account! I think I likely to be a mixture of things mentioned here. Thought I’d put this here as I enjoyed reading this: Although not suggested as a valid reason, I too used to wonder about a lot but as a teenager. I became convinced that we were getting a little closer to the sun each year, like how water goes down a plug hole. I even suggested it to my science teacher! 🙂

        1. Maybe it’s just the total amount of time speeding up, in the same way the total amount of space is getting bigger: the closer we are to the end of time and space, the faster it goes.

      4. That is exactly the rational I was told once. It makes sense to me for this to be the most logical. Very interesting conversation piece. One of those things in life we will just have to form our own individual opinions as to why this is a common feeling when it relates to age.


        1. These are all amazing thoughts, i can relate 2 alot of them but still cannot help but think that there is more 2 time going this fast since 2019,

          I acknowledge that its been going relatively fast previously but now its on a different level,you can have your good 7-8 hour sleep but still feel like you only slept for 2 hours,that’s how fast time flies…i thought i was alone until alot of ppl talked about it and i get to observe how 89% of the people in the public transport/bus i am using is sleeping on route to work and on route home every single day,of complete exhaustion,fatigue…which is because time is going relatively fast and your mind and body can not keep up with the past,which causes the above,the individual is also drained because the time going so fast,which is draining core parts of the spirit and can cause memory gaps/open spaces accure because you not able to be present you moving on a past that is hard for our minds to adapt 2…

      5. I believe that the simple reality is, as you get older, your ability to store the memories of that particular time are compromised. Therefore your brain perceives this as a shorter event period and thus a greater time frame has elapsed versus average memory volume recorded.

      6. “When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.”


      7. I believe God is telling us we don’t have much time, to get our life right with Him…🙏🛐✝️ Something to think about!

        1. That could be the case I hope.
          As a kid days seemed much longer.
          Now weeks, months, years seem to fly by.

    3. It is because….time is running out, unlike when we were all 14 and had unlimited time.
      Now our minutes are nearly used up, and as Warren Zevon said,
      “my sh*t is f*cked up.”

      1. As we get older we forget so much during the course of a year that Xmas seems to come round every few months. However, when we concentrate on what interests us such as my observing my many grandchildren growing up they seem to have been small little adults for millennia with squeaky voices growing only slowly. That’s because I pay them so much attention fascinated by their lives and remembering far more about them and because I make more effort to concentrate. So, for me, day to day life fly’s by but not if you focus on all the events of a subject. Hope that makes sense!

        Richard Cripps

        1. They the eyes of a child. I remember when 6th grade seemed a long way off. But soon I was in high school and then married and having children. Then the children ask way Christmas and birthdays were so far in the distance. As we get older we developed more patience about things. My grand daughter is in high school. Sure. Where did all 66 years go so fast. 6th grade now seems unimportant. But to a first grader it seems a long way off!! Perception!!.. when will I be 90??

    4. I too have thought that time perception is biological aging. Like a car starting out on a hill, at birth and through childhood, time moves slowly until we reach the top, middle age or just before. Then, as we pass “ over the hill”, just like that car we begin to speed towards death and time seems to speed up as well. It seems to me to be tied to our biological growth and subsequent deterioration. Time perception ruled at a cellular level.

      1. Wow, that is a pretty awesome explanation. Probably the best one I read. Im sitting here at work and this thought came into my head so I had to look into it and after reading so many comments, this is by far the best one.

      2. I also agree thank you I think Im satisfied with your explanation. I wish we never deteriorated or at least stopped at about 30. Theres not enough time so many never get to do the things they want to do in life. Makes me very sad I need more time Im not done yet.

      3. That’s a good theory.
        Being young, we are always looking forward to certain things. Because they were special occasions for us then.
        But once grown n basically doing same thing for years on end, not much to look forward to.
        Christmas seems to come every few months now, as a kid it seemed like forever until next Christmas.

        As kids Christmas was the best day of the year, as adults ( most of us) it’s just another time we need to try and find a bunch of gifts that we hope they like.
        Buying gifts for kids is easy, adults, not so much, if adults want something they just buy it themselves

    5. I’m 64 as well, but I also observe personally that time seems to slow when I have many tasks during the day, particularly if I’m absorbed in the tasks. But as I age I’m less involved in tasks and feel like time is elapsing quickly. Just wondering if not being as active, physically and/or mentally is more of the condition leading to these observations.

      1. I totally agree with having fewer ‘tasks’, especially since I retired. On the busy days, time goes slower than on the less busy. When I was working, 5:00 took forever to arrive. Therefore I’ve decided I must have a daily schedule to help slow time down! I’m hoping it does the trick.

      2. I think so. When you feel content and focused time appears to be different. Its how we think, we’re programmed! When we change our thinking by re-wiring, we change our perception. I’m 67 and by re-wiring my old programming, I’m feeling younger daily. So I guess I’m saying, I feel like I have another 67 years left, lol!

      3. I think we are trying to
        comprehend and explain a more serious problem from a mere humanistic perspective. I am 58 years old and in my mines eye…can recall my earliest childhood vividly… My whole life is just a blur…. But to the point…35 years ago a man these last days (time will catch up with time). I thought ? What the heck does that mean. Like and hour glass runs out of time…we are running (out of time) those who have ears can hear…you have to use something more than just your peanut brain…no matter how many degrees you have…you can have 32 degrees and still be brain dead… Yeah (time is speeding up on purpose with a purpose.this is a very strange world we live in…so strange that one day soon ??? Ok Let’s say when the play write shows up on stage the play is over…can’t wait to see what hes got going the other side lolol its a beautiful world…people are amazing….but there is so much more.

    6. I agree. Also, when you’re younger, a year, for example is a larger percentage of the time you’ve been alive. As we age, a year becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of the time we’ve been alive, so it seems to go by faster as a result. That’s how I look at it anyway. All relative 🙂

    7. Hi Robbin,
      Hope all is well. Time flies. I was in high school just a few years ago. The sadness of time’s speed brought me here. Hope you are well.

    8. Hi everyone, I am new to this site. This is a very interesting conversation. Here is my “two cents worth” I am 80 yrs old now and beginning to have some symptoms of forgetfulness. I love living, love my family, and love God, not necessarily in that order. In conversations with family members like my sister and brother, I remember things about our family when we were all young. Our father died at 37yrs old of esophageal cancer, and our mother had a rare skin disorder. We lived in a low price house district in Wichita Falls, Texas. She was on Social Security and a small salary from the movie theatre where she was a cashier. She managed to feed and clothe us with little money. She had a rare blood disease that caused sores on her legs, so she would wear a pair of support hose to cover her bandaged legs. She always looked nice and was pleasant to be around. She was 47 when she died. I have lived much longer than she did. Have I done it as well? I just hope to be as strong as she was before I die. My husband is gone too, but I have wonderful children who help me and a few close friends that I love. Be thankful for every day, be kind and helpful, and appreciate every breath, knowing that God gives it and knowing HIM is the best thing that can ever happen to a person. Living in America is a gift to treasure, take care of, and be thankful for. I know this isn’t really on the tenor of the conversation, but it’s my “two cents worth” Be Blessed.

      1. Hi EDNA, You write very well for 80 congratulations.
        I have admired your thoughts. I am 59 years old from Mississauga, Canada !!

      2. Thank you. Liked your post. I was born 78yrs ago in Oklahoma. My Daddy passed away when I was 8 yrs.old. My sister and brother were 7- 5 yrs old. They don’t remember much. Our mother was 29 yrs old .She raised kids working sometimes 3 jobs. What a STRONG woman!

    9. I’m 62. I agree. I think it would eventually seem to start passing faster, just probably much later, like when you’re 210-220 vs 50-60 as we experience.

    10. Simply put, because “time is running out.” When we are young, we have all the time in the world and we unconsciously think we are going to live forever. However, when we hit a certain age (for me 70), we become very conscious that “time is running out” and we are “speeding toward death.” Our desire to “hold onto life” and “slow the passage of time” makes time go faster, i.e., when I was young, I wanted time to go faster (I wanted to be older); however, as I age, I want to time to slow down because I don’t want to get older. My 2 cents!

    11. The distance between the Moon and the Earth affect the speed of the Earths rotation due to magnetic friction. The moon is in a different spot in the sky everyday, the closer the moon is one day the more magnetic friction slows the Earths rotation and a longer day is had. Another day the moon is in a different spot a bit further away, now the Earths rotation picks up speed a bit and a shorter day is had. That’s my intuitive thought anyways.

  2. All i want to say that my elementary school lasted forever, as well as days in a high school. Times began to fly when in a college.

    1. Guys, let’s be real. Ultimately there’s no such thing as a time machine. In other words, it is what it is. Time is goin by quick because we wasting time thinking about why time goes by quick. Live in the moment, it’s yours. In the meantime, take me back to Love Machine.

    2. Time goes faster because ,when you are younger time goes slow because you have a lot less to think about ,
      As you age you have more to think about ie work,family ,finance , etc so the old adage is when your busy time flows faster does that make sense !!

      1. Thank you! This seems quite easy, But again…its perception! Some here say that time goes slower when they are more active…I cant understand how that is possible…oh well…

        1. It’s like the commercial “when a body is in motion, it stay’s in motion “ I guess! When I’m more present and focused my time slows also.

      1. Wait till you’re 80 plus. I’m trying too hard to do well at not trying too hard to do well. Say that 3 times fast, if there’s time. (smile)
        an Octogenarian

        1. i have one question for you ma’am

          is that true my running speed increase when i grow
          which age is good to get fast speed

    3. Austin Feinberg – time doesn’t go faster. Our perception of time makes it appear to go faster. I have a lot more to think about these days so I don’t spend as much time observing and enjoying, as I used to.

  3. Death and a Black Hole have common traits. Time moves faster as we get nearer our time of death. Just as an object gets nearer a Black Hole the faster it travels. Death is the non-existence of time as is the object that travels into a Black Hole approaching non-existence.

    1. I have used the whirlpool as an analogy since I started perceiving time speeding up about 10 years ago in my mid-40’s. When I was young we are on the outer parts of the whirlpool, but as I get older I move closer and closer, time moves faster and faster until I reach the middle at the end of life. And thennnn…..?

      1. and Theeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn………………… go back home to your
        Heavenly Father where you came from and, continue growing as a person. You are his child. If you have questions, please read at,

        1. I absolutely love this!!! Thank you !! I was looking for a Christian to talk about forever We all have been sent here on a mission time has no rank over this mission Time is never ending in Heaven in this world it’s simply an essence that dictates our memory . Everyone so busy tryin to find a happy life . Happy like any other emotion is for the moment . That’s all any of us get . Those moments that take your breath away LIVE THEM FOR ALL THEY ARE WORTH

  4. I am 20 and my birthday is in 3 months time, more and more it feels like days turn into weeks and months just fly by. My 20th b day seems like it was about 5 months ago. Depressing me big time

    1. I am 14 and already thinking about this wich causes me anxiety and difficulty to sleep so like i’d like to know if theres a way to fix this issue.

      1. There’s hope.

        While listening to a podcast about Frank Ocean’s song “Skyline To” a very academic Cole Chuchna explains that a scientific study suggests that in our youth, time seems to pass slowly because it is chock full of new experiences, which the brain marks with importance. This makes youth feel longer. As we age and settle into schedules, our experiences blend together and become the same, making time seem to move faster than before. My opinion? Be curious for new experiences with ravenous hunger.

      2. You have anxiety and difficulty sleeping because your mind is obsessed with these spalling thoughts. My mind was in turmoil when I was a teenager.
        The perception of time is like riding a sleigh off a snow covered mountain. The sleigh picks up speed as it descends. It’s the same way with I us
        As we get older time seems to speed up. It’s been my experience and approaching my eighty sixth birthday it’s like riding a rocket. The years are whizzing by and it seems like only yesterday that I was just fourteen!
        I suggest learning to live in the eternal NOW and accepting the things you cannot change. Decide who you are and what your mission is during your brief journey on spaceship earth. Be grateful for each day because it is a Present.
        Peace and Blessings Always remember that God loves you!

        1. Amen! “Live in the Eternal now!” I completely agree! your days here on earth are so very precious. So enjoy the time you have without worry of time. Enjoy your life! its a gift! Take chances, tell the people you love, that you love them! take that trip! go on that adventure! ask for that promotion! ask her or him out! instead of worrying about time, think of all the things you can still do, and don’t hesitate to do them!
          And yes God loves you! Don’t ever forget that!

          Love you all!

        2. How does one learn to live in the now sir. I don’t know if I can learn that at this point. I believe in God Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Why am I always crying I want to be happy, grow a garden, have a home with pets and people,family and friends, cookouts and back yard party’s. Trips to exotic places for 2 weeks out of the year or camping at the lake or the mountains. I want to ride a zip line and fly my own personal bicycle. There’s no more time. I’ve wasted so much time. Im sorry Im just scared anymore all the time
          Thanks for listening. Peace

      3. Don’t worry about it. Spend time enjoying every day and make sure to appreciate all the good things and people in your life. That’s the most important thing. That we enjoy the journey. The fact that you are already thinking about this means that you are very special.

      4. I’m 25 and time is moving by faster every year. Life is short. I might be 25 now but soon I’ll be like 70 in a blink of an eye. As you get older, you experience less new things. Society forces you into this path, because you have to work. It becomes monotonous. There are also biological reasons that cause time to pass faster. There’s nothing you can do except keep doing things you like. Have no regrets when you get old.

      5. Just stop thinking about it so much. Relax and enjoy life. Don’t intend to sound so cliche but you are still a youngster. Wait till your in your 60s and older. You think time is flying by now? I did same thing. Just relax😀

      6. Time slows down when we lose technology. Think about the last time the power went out. What did you do? How long did the hours seem? I have been putting my phone away as much as i can for this reason.
        Monotony is another reason time seems to speed away from us. If you’re doing the same things every day there isn’t much to remember.
        Lose your screens and go make some memories. It will help, with both time and with general happiness.

      7. You need to learn and practice mindfulness techniques! You also need to try new experiences and balance your life with self care, creativity, and work. You are anxious and feeling empty because you are missing something bigger, outside of yourself. A higher power. I recommend starting with a Unitarian Church. They expose you to all religions, allowing you to make a connections and meet your Savior.

      8. Same, man. The saddest part for me is probably the realization that time is flying by so fast. My dad is almost turning fifty and I regret that I couldn’t spend more valuable time with him when he was in his early-mid 40s. Now I just wish that he had me earlier so we’d be able to spend more time together.

        1. Wait until your dad is over 70 while having the knowledge that time is finite as a person’s odds of mortal survival decrease mathematically each year of aging. Hope to celebrate his 80th, 85th, 90th, and so on, but I’m given no guarantee.
          I live with a certain amount of dread on this as an only child with no other close family members except for my significant other.

        2. Don’t worry we are all just a perspective of the universe. The universe experiencing itself. We have connected consciousness. Different currents of consciousness from the same pool. Experiencing life as a different perspective in different times. So in essence if we share consciousness and come from the same consciousness. We never die. We are literally each other.

    2. No, what is depressing is my friend who died from Cancer at the age of 23. In your 20’s have balance. Have 3 hobbies. One that makes you money, one that you enjoy and let’s you be creative, and one that keeps you fit and healthy. Practice mindfulness, travel, save your money, and Practice mindfulness – a 39 year old.

  5. Part of the experience is possibly the lack of novelty and the deterioration of comprehension. The inability to fully absorb oneself into events so that they subjectively integrate more slowly so that Comprehenion and reality are out of phase.

    1. Interesting it is moving faster with in the confines of the wall clock ……seems impossible but it is…’s not in our head………..or it’s moving quicker

      1. Well , contrary to what others think about age and time my theory is each year must actually get faster as the universe accelerates everything within the universe accelerates at the same speed including time , good grief it’s tea time already

        1. I believe what you say. The universe is accelerating. Making time faster. it’s nothing to do with old age. Many young people I talk to , often say isn’t time going’s the evolution of life.

          1. Utter nonsense. Time move more slowly as things accelerate more. It’s part and parcel of the general theory of relativity.

    2. Alan Byron, we as children find everything so fascinating and everything is new to us! As we get older we become “adults” and that is what destroys our curiosity I guess and perhaps school and society in general, the media trains us to become part of the herd. We need to become children again, meaning to be in awe of new things.

      1. Don’t not let these things play with your mind enjoy each moment . I had a crazy experience with playing golf for the First time when I was 40 and now I am 41 .
        So the first few times I played golf time moved very slow but as I started playing more often time speed up again. So it’s the new experience as some of u have said

  6. The speed of time is dependent on the processing of data from the environment…as we age less changes so we process the environment with less data… less data less time to process it… less time spent in 3D reality where time is experienced

  7. I don’t think it already happens to me because of my age, but im forgetting more and more along the time. Im 16 and a day feels like a week. I also don’t remember a lot from a couple years ago

  8. My theory is that it is about percentages: when we are young each additional year is a large per of our life (ie from 5 to 6 is 20% of our life). As we get older each year is a smaller and smaller percentage. ( ie 50 to 51 is only an additional 2%). I think that we feel percentage changes more than the absolute change.

    1. I’ve thought about that. It’s kind of depressing to think that the time from 20 to 40 seems the same as 40 to death

  9. I think when we are young and can’t Waite until our birthdays to get here that will make us an age that we wish to be for one reason or another , it’s just like waiting in a long line when we are growing up. After we grow up we realize how everything is passing us by and how wonderful it was when we were younger.

  10. so my theory is that time goes faster as we get older because when we die w dont know if would turn into ghost plus time can be a ghost going through time faster anf faster if u think about it its an additional 50% of life
    its sad…

  11. ok my theory is as we grow older , it can often feel like time goes faster and faster…. focusing on visual perception, Bejan posits slower processing times result in us perceving fewer frames per second more actual time passes between the perception of each new mental image. This leads to time passing more rapidly

  12. Simpler answer…… When you are 10 years old 1 year is 1 tenth of you
    existence. When you are 50 year old it’s 1 fiftieth of you existence. So
    going from 10 years old to 11 – is the same as going from 50 year old to 55.
    Living 1/10 more of your existence.

    1. It’s all about how you remember things. If I think about the birth of my daughter 6 years ago in relation to celebrating her birthday it seems like time has just skipped in a flash. But then if you think about all the other things in between like first time walking, learning to ride a bike, first day of school, etc. it makes the day of her birth feel further away.

      This article kind of help me have hope that I have time still. That I am not going to go to sleep one day at 40 and wake up at 80.

      “The problem with the proportionality theory is that it fails to account for the way we experience time at any one moment. We don’t judge one day in the context of our whole lives. If we did, then for a 40-year-old every single day should flash by because it is less than one fourteen-thousandth of the life they’ve had so far. It should be fleeting and inconsequential, yet if you have nothing to do or an enforced wait at an airport for example, a day at 40 can still feel long and boring and surely longer than a fun day at the seaside packed with adventure for a child. … It ignores attention and emotion, which … can have a considerable impact on time perception.”

      1. Exactly! When you look at your life through the lens of hindsight with a macro view, of course time appears to have flown by. But if you could take each year of your life and list what you did every day….week by week, month by month, year by year, you would realize how little time actually did fly by, and what a long journey it’s been to get to where you are today.

  13. Can you imagine it’s going to be 20 years since 9 11? I have been having a hard time processing this as to me it has felt as still does feel like it’s been 5, maybe 6 but not 7 years since. What the heck is going on?

    1. It is because it is a memory that is constantly recalled and reviewed in great detail. So it feels fresh every time you recall the memory regardless of how much time has passed. The clearer a memory is to us the closer it will appear. Especially when you are only recalling that event. Start adding in things that have happened since then and it will start to stretch out the time frame.

      I think this is why time seems to get faster when we are older. We have more days to remember. A lot is redundant. Even things like birthdays and holidays no matter how fun they are become routine. Finding something special and unique in those moments can help you separate out those moments. Upon quick recall it is going to seem like something a while back happened just yesterday.

      For me I went to Vegas 4 years ago. It was memorable and I think about it a lot. So I go how they hell did 4 years pass by already. But then I start thinking about the other trips I have gone on in between and all the other big moments since then and it then starts to bridge that time and actually make it feel like 4 years have passed.

      I still struggle with it a lot though as I am about to turn 34 and my kids are going to be 8 and 6 and thinking how fast 10 years will fly and they will be going to or getting ready to go to college. You want to remember everything in great detail and not miss out or forget anything, but it literally is impossible. It is just something I guess we have to learn to live with.

      1. Oh man, that’s a great way to think of it.

        I do that all the time – have a clear memory and that same feeling of how is this so long ago. Filling in other memories really does help.

        This makes me feel more at ease.

  14. All we truly have is now. So live life to the fullest in every moment. Enjoy the ones your with, enjoy the ones you love. Because before you know it time will pass us by.

  15. I always thought it was a matter of percentage. As a youngster, each day was a significant percentage of my entire life. So of course it seemed longer. Not only that, but the percentage of new experiences was greater. As a teenager more things were repeat, but still plenty of new things, and the days and weeks were each a slightly smaller slice of the total. So the progression continued as I became an adult.
    Now I’m in my 70s. Each day is a much smaller slice of my total time here. And I’m doing many more things for the *last* time than for the first. I’m not surprised the last year has been a blink.

  16. I have noticed that when we go away on holiday for a fortnight, the first week passes much slower than the second. When we go away for only one week, the time still seems to pass slowly – the second half doesn’t rush by. I think that this has to do with novelty factor. The first seven days are more of a novelty than the last 7. Similarly a weekend away seems far longer than one spent at home doing the usual things. If we want time to pass more slowly perhaps we should try to break up the routine with new experiences.

  17. Thank you so much for your efforts and helping us answer our most important and complex questions!
    I’m feeling better now that I know what’s the reason why time pass this quickly…I’m 23 though…

  18. The Denman Effect

    Christopher Denman drops in
    Punctually once a year,
    Yet surprised I always am
    Him earlier to behold.
    This anomaly in time
    I will name, ‘ The Denman Effect ‘,
    For Denman shows me that time
    Flows faster as one grows old!

    Boghos L. Artinian

  19. Psychologist William James, in his 1890 text Principles of Psychology, wrote that as we age, time seems to speed up because adulthood is accompanied by fewer and fewer memorable events. When the passage of time is measured by “firsts” (first kiss, first day of school, first family vacation), the lack of new experiences in adulthood, James morosely argues, causes “the days and weeks [to] smooth themselves out…and the years grow hollow and collapse.
    I agree with William James from this 130 year old thesis. There is little “newness”, and a lack of things to “look forward to” as we get older. This is particularly true after age 65 (ish). Once retired, we have no “firsts” to excite us, and wait in anticipation for. At age 67, I am grateful to “look forward” vicariously, to the life events of my grandchildren (7 of them)…I look forward to passing along all the love and knowledge obtained throughout my own life. It is really perception, in the end. Another post stated that if our lifespan was 150 + years, this would be different.

  20. With the passing of time & the speed at which it increases as time passes, my biggest regret is turning down endless opportunities to sleep with woman. I married very young & am a faithful, loving husband, but man I turned my back on so many pretty girls & free rides. Eat up everything you can that’s my advice.

  21. Get rid of your computer, phone and TV. Read new books, go for walks. Time will slow dramatically.

    1. I believe time passes more slowly when someone else is responsible for your well-being, you don’t have adult worries/responsibilities, and therefore you’re always in the moment. Mindfulness (or being in the moment) makes life seem longer and time seem slower. Once you reach adulthood and you’re constantly worried about things and planning ahead, you stop being in the moment. You’re always thinking and planning instead of just existing in the moment. Think about the way a toddler can lay down on the floor and stare at a bug moving or half an hour. Time goes slower for them because they are in the moment. And that’s it.

  22. We are like an objects falling to the ground, the closer to the ground the grater the speed of the object. We begin to fall at the moment of conception. We are the object falling, time is the speed we are falling at…. the ground is death

  23. I think we think and worry too much and that makes us start living in fear. Trust in God. He is in charge. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is uncertain. Smile and find things to be grateful for. Being happy makes a big difference.

  24. Unpopular opinion, but still an opinion.
    I wish I had that remote control from that movie Click. I want to fast-forward my life 15 years and be retired. And then, do whatever I want, whatever that is, as I want it, whenever I want it, without having to wake up early and see the same old stupid faces at work, having to deal with more ungrateful patients.
    Apart from working in a hospital, I have been a patient myself since my unnecessary birth. Going into and coming out of hospitals my entire life. Renal issues. Being anxious to do medical exams every month to see if I have stable results, to adjust medication intake.

    I don’t want to anger anyone by saying this but to any who suggests that God loves me, I have tried the god thing and it doesn’t work. To anyone who might say that there are worse things out there, there is nothing godly about that.

    15 years. Everyone says how fast time goes by. I even started counting the days one by one, till my retirement. And they seem infinite.

    I don’t have children and I don’t want any. I just need to pass the rest of my life peacefully. My life may be boring then when I get retired.
    But at least it will be boring without obligations.

  25. I’m 42 this year, and time goes by so much faster than let’s say 30’s flew by very fast! Where’d they go???

    I also find you fear death less as you age, or is that just me? I once feared death as a child, but I honestly don’t anymore.

    So much changes as we age! Developmental psychology plays a role imo.

    1. I fear death very much! The loss of my parents, husband, brother, even pets. Spirituality comforts me. I don’t want to cease to exist. To not be conscious. Though I have been Depressed, I would never want to never “BE”… As am Empath I get many messages and know things that I couldn’t possibly know. So it gives me faith.

  26. times go by fast I seemed cant collect my goals “meet goals” before I get too old so please explain to me how to get it done?

  27. The theory I align closely to on why time seems to move faster as we get older is closer to perception and your own collection of new experiences.

    While growing up, most experiences are new – so they get captured and stored, we can look back and think about all the fun stuff we did. So the perception is that time was dragged out longer, while in actuality you were just experiencing more new events which your brain would process and put into storage banks. Every year in school would be different, different classes, different extra activities, different teachers and sometimes different kids to meet or schools entirely. This all adds up to new experiences constantly. We learned, interacted and did a LOT in those years that were less tedious as we have gotten older.

    Now, we go to the same job/career and perform the same routines over and over. We pay our bills, we cook dinner, we take care of the kids, we clean the house and so on. These things do change, but for the most part they are the same day in and day out. That is why, when you ask someone what they did last week – They have to struggle to remember, because these tedious motions that we mostly play on repeat all merge together. And before you know it, another year is down and you are wondering where the heck the time went.

    Have you ever completed a commute from A -> B so many times, that some days you feel like you instantly ended up at B and don’t even remember the drive? Same thing happens with your life while on autopilot.

    Anyone that has gone through a huge life change, via loss of a loved one or loss of a job which dramatically changed their life will probably never say – “This was the fastest year of my life!”. That is because the events of your life have made you stop, focus and pay attention to what is going on which drags things out. Once things settle and you get back into the “rhythm” of life, it will speed up again.

    Also, if you are in a career/job that you hate and are always looking forward to the weekend – Then you are speeding up your life by always looking for the future and not enjoying it on the daily. You are living for 2 days off per week instead of enjoying the full 7.

    That is my thoughts on it.

    Thanks for reading!

  28. A child sleeps in such a profound manner that when they awaken, they awaken like a new born in comparison to an aged person so that even the day before feels like much more like a remote past than it does as we age. Its not that they don’t remember what happened the day before but that the weight off it has been removed overnight (all things being equal).

    One cannot remember this under normal conditions that this was our experience in later life because it is alien to the momentum of our current experience. Having said that one can rediscover this phenomena of being “washed clean” in sleep patterns in later life which has the exact same effect. One can leave work on Friday and then return on Monday with the sensation that one had been away for vastly extended period, as if one had gone on a distant all engulfing vacation over several months.

    The exact mechanism I could not explain but am convinced it is, like a dream that goes for a few minutes but in its passage of time feels like it lasted several days. Is fundamentally related to our relationship to sleep.

    As we age this capacity for sleep to profoundly regenerate us becomes encrusted to the point where days merge into a virtual break less continuum giving the sensation that things are passing faster without any real pause.

  29. I’m a (soon) 15 year old, and since the last school year started the time flies so fast. It’s monday and right away it’s friday again, which makes me kinda sad, because I like school and I don’t want to leave already.

  30. How fascinating…
    This has been on my mind as a child. I was drawn to my elderly neighbors at age 10. They became my best friends. I told my mother at age 12: we are ALL the same age. We just get there at different times. I have always had a very strong urging and thoughts about various subjects, especially the human existence. I am in tune spiritually and emotionally.


  31. My 2c on this issue is that when we are old/older we already master all the routines we go by during the day/week/month/year. Theres not much learning of anything at all. Try enrolling in a new university course or new challenging online course to see how things shift!!!! Cheers from Vancouver, Canada.

  32. I’m 57 I thought time was starting to fly buy in my 40’s onward. I read that it was due to us having a decline in Melatonin. So I got some tablets and take them from time to time. I don’t seem to perceive time flying by anymore….

  33. I think the doctor has a valid point. When you are a child and younger not only your mind will process everything faster and make decisions faster. So growing older all of it will slow down and tasks that used to take you no time take you longer and longer. At least for me since I’ve always been doer and wanting to experience new things and generally do stuff my time seems to be measured by accomplishments in my mind. Days I do nothing just mean nothing and are wiped out of the timeline.
    The workday when I was younger it was exiting and I was thinking about it already taking a shower in the morning and it never felt like work. Nowadays I feel I just go to work and don’t learn anything and at the end of the day it was just another workday that doesn’t need to be on my timeline of the memories. So it gets wiped out and surely takes about half of the waking hours out.
    Just my thoughts and been thinking it long time. In purpose I do lots of activities since I realize time is passing by but even then the fact remains, when you age you slow down and the activities take longer so with less experiences to remember time seems to have moved faster.

  34. I think the reason time goes by faster as an adult, is simply because we are orienting our lives based on a block type schedule rather than simply living in the moment as children do. We are always anticipating the next day, and the next goal. Whether it be yearning for Friday to come on a Monday or planning a big move a year ahead, hating your job and zoning out to get through the day, commuting. It all seems to become so automatic that the time it takes to actually do these things seems to pass by so quickly.

  35. Our perception of time is based on our value of time. When we are young we don’t think about the past we can only think of what is ahead of us, therefore we wish the time to speed up. As we age, we reminisce on past times and realize our days are dwindling away from us. Which leaves us wanting more and realizing the value of each day that passes. I teach my children to value each age that u become because u only get it once, also not to wish the days away because before we know it, they will be gone.

  36. Our perception of time is based on our value of time. When we are young we don’t think about the past we can only think of what is ahead of us, therefore we wish the time to speed up. As we age, we reminisce on past times and realize our days are dwindling away from us. Which leaves us wanting more and realizing the value of each day that passes. I teach my children to value each age that u become because u only get it once, also not to wish the days away because before we know it, they will be gone.

  37. As we grow older, it can often feel like time goes by faster and faster. … This is what leads to time passing more rapidly. When we are young, each second of actual time is packed with many more mental images. Like a slow-motion camera that captures thousands of images per second, time appears to pass more slowly.
    The Earth is moving faster than it ever has in the last 50 years, scientists have discovered, and experts believe that 2021 is going to be the shortest year in decades. … This is because the Earth is spinning faster on its axis quicker than it has done in decades and the days are therefore a tiny bit shorter.
    On July 19, 2020, the actual day on Earth was 1.4602 milliseconds shorter than a full 24 hours, making it the shortest day ever recorded. Since then, the record short day has been broken a total of 28 times. Now in 2021, days are spinning faster, nearly 0.5 milliseconds shorter than a full 24 hours.
    that’s the fact😁

  38. Something I’ve noticed, when you are perceiving a new experience, time seems to slow as you’re working harder to understand and take on the new information, but once you experience that same thing again, you already know what to expect, so it’s not particularly memorable or worth much thought, and so it seems to pass faster, as we get older we collect more experiences, and so are very likely to experience the same things day to day, and why would we remember every single repetition of what we already know from the first experience?
    The real secret to a long life is filling every day with new experiences, making memories.

  39. Simpler answer…… When you are 10 years old 1 year is 1 tenth of you
    existence. When you are 50 year old 5 years is 1 tenth of your existence.
    So going from 10 years old to 11 – feels the same as going from 50 year old to 55.
    (living 1/10 more of your total existence) So of course, 1 year at age 55 feels faster
    than 1 year at age 10.

  40. My mom has always complained about how everyday felt faster and what seemed to be happened a long time ago she said she swore happened last week. I’m in ninth grade now and I know I’m younger than most people here, but I feel like my mom was right and time does feel so much faster obviously not that everything is speeding up it’s just that I swore I only started processing January to March 2021 and now it’s December, I don’t remember experiencing any other month only doing little things here and there, but certainly not enough memories for 9 months. I don’t like how I am just watching life pass me before I can realize it and I try hard to remember my experiences so I have a time stamp to sort of return to it and know that that month actually happened. Maybe it was the pandemic but I was just 12 in March 2020 and now I’m going to graduate freshman year.

  41. It is a strange companion we travel through Life with,
    this rapscalion Time.
    In our early youth, she demurs and seems to take forever to pass,
    But yet, when we learn the ropes of Life,
    this temptress, Time, seems to take on a hurried gate.
    Even then, we often find that she has tricked us and ran on ahead,
    Surprising us with fleeting moments
    which flit from now to yesterday to yesteryear in a blink.
    As we learn enough to sit in wisdom
    and contemplate Time’s journey at our side,
    We yearn for the frolic of youth when she seemed to take forever,
    Yet even now we give homage to Time for remaining with us,
    And offering us whatever yesterdays and tomorrows that she so deigns.

    K. Ready circa 2021

  42. They told me to follow the science yet there is no consensus on the time speeding up phenomenon. All I know is that my physical experience is more rich and meaningful because I have faith that when my time is up, I will no longer be bound by the limits of time.

  43. Bullsheeve as you age and find time is greater and your fullfilment within that time is diminished you succumb. Purpose in life is the only thing that is going to keep you alive and time in perspective.

  44. Reall interesting phenomenon. I remember, when I was a kid, the movies seems to be last much longer than they do now. Tow hours of the movie used to seem like a 6 hour of intense watch time, now days seems to be pass like an hour.

    Inspired by this article, we tried to do a video on it, I hope you’ll like it:

  45. I think it’s related to soul development. The older you grow, the more you experience, and your soul develops as well. This speeds up the time that you experience as a person. So in your next reincarnation, the environment time-stamp also speeds up.

  46. The first question is: what is time. We perhaps define as the duration between events and select what we perceive as events that that are stable. The movement of the earth, the sun or atoms in atomic clocks. Whatever we use; they are observable within our world, solar system and universe. Outside the universe is unknown, unexplored and anyones guess. Light is the sacred fundamental measurement of something alongside gravity. But what would we observe if we didn’t exist in a world of light and gravity? Imagine if our world was at the bottom of the deepest ocean: the abyss, no light and gravity exists, but the the water effective disguises it. Time clearly exist, because things happen. There is a duration of time between events but how would they be measured?
    If you are aware of your own existence, then the length of your life is how you can perceive it. To a three year old a year is a long time ie a third of their living memory, but to an eighty year old, a year is ony an 80th of their living memory. As a general rule: size seems important for lifespan and the slower the activity the longer the life. Ultimately, totally inanimate objects like rocks and mountains stay around for millions of years, but I have no ambition to be one.

  47. It’s all illusion. My experience is that things that happened two weeks ago feel like an eternity. I think it also has to do with consciousness eg. You’re driving and suddenly realize you went five miles (daydreaming?) and how does that differ from dreaming what we dream while asleep? Soon none it will matter as technology encroaches more and more on our ” experience”. The tech giants have us right where they want after all how could we survive sans cellphones, tablets, games it’s dizzying. I digress.

  48. Wow, the comments on this article is absolutely full of craziness.

    I don’t know why people think they have the knowledge and experience to refute a paper by an actual expert, the dunning kruger effect is quite apparent.

    The amount of pseudoscientific nonsense also present should really warm people off of this website.

  49. I just woke up from a dream where I asked Biden logical questions and he had a legitimate rebuttal instead of his usual incoherent babble. Im having chest pains smelling onions, as I woke up, having gas and can’t fart, maybe it’s the taco bell. I’ve thought about time and perception for a long time. I feel like I’m autistic and my brain seems to function super fast but time seems to speed up and slow down for me. I’ve thought about rotation of the earth being faster. When I quit smoking for 9 months it felt as though I would sleep for 15 hours but time was slow. Lately time is flying I think it’s a separation of mind and body like your mental state, or your cognitive function vs your mental outlook and cognitive function. I can’t explain that but I use to daydream for twenty minutes after I woke up when I was younger I remember putting one sock on and thinking about all kinds of shit in ten min. Then putting the other sock on and repeating. I also remembering an article about earths rotation was faster due to man made things on earth idk. Females are not equal to men and the political agenda and the way people think is going backwards. Females are different and have specific jobs that men can not do, especially multi tasking. “I identify as” is the same as “I pretend to be”. Instead of useless shit we see everyday from tv and thought police, why not use the portion of your brain to create more expression through common sense instead of idiocy. Idk I need to fart bad. I’m going to try to sleep now. My point was now that women have blue hair and are professional victims men no longer serve their purpose and will die younger. Without purpose there is no life…… We have to stop these climate change enthusiasts instead of bitching about it. I honestly believe you shouldn’t be on the internet unless you pass a test to use it. Seriously. It would be very beneficial to stupid people and give them purpose. Without purpose and routine time will fly.

  50. A well experienced sales person can do this job only effectively. People who are not sure about outcome based selling should give it a visit. They will be find it very useful.

  51. Oh my gosh. I think you’re all overthinking this. I don’t buy this theory at all. It’s not my perceptions that are off, it’s that it takes longer to do things and we get distracted and daydream more when we are older. I find myself daydreaming, standing there doing nothing, lost in thought and the next thing I know 5 minutes have past and I accomplished nothing. You have less energy and more pain and mobility issues so everything is harder to do so it all takes longer. You simply get less done in an hour than you used to. So you run out of time to do things and the day seems shorter. The other issue this article does not address is that it seems to be affecting everyone regardless of age. The years just seem to be flying by. Two recent examples…locally recent events reminded people of a past event that happened 4 years ago but numerous people of varying ages all commented that it happened a couple of years ago. As I was having the same feeling, I checked for the actual date and it was 4 years ago to the month. Mentioning that surprised everyone. The other example…an incident happened two weeks ago but in conversation we all kept saying “last week” and acting like it had happened a week ago, but after looking at my calendar I realized it was 2 weeks to the day that it happened. Again, the people involved are of varying ages. I would expect that the older the person is, the more inaccurate the perception of time passage would be, but that is not the case. That is why I reject this article’s theory. I just don’t see it manifesting in real life. Something else is going on. Could be all the wifi and cellphone signals and all the different forms of technological radiation we are exposed to constantly. Or could also be due to our constant bombardment of incoming information via TV, radio, phones, internet, any mobile device, etc. We never really have time to ourselves to just relax. There is always something to do. We’re constantly go go go all day. It didn’t used to be like that. I remember getting bored a lot. I haven’t been bored in years. I’m 51.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.