Are you sleep-deprived? If you’re trying to get by on about six hours or less of sleep, you’re setting up your brain for future failure!
According to a new study published on April 20, 2021, in the journal Nature Communications,
After following nearly 8,000 people for 25 years, the study found a higher dementia risk with a “sleep duration of six hours or less at age 50 and 60” as compared to those who slept seven hours a night.
In addition, a consistent short sleep duration between the ages of 50, 60, and 70 was also associated with a “30% increased dementia risk,” independent of “sociodemographic, behavioral, cardiometabolic, and mental health factors,” including depression, the study said.
“Sleep is important for normal brain function and is also thought to be important for clearing toxic proteins that build up in dementias from the brain,” said Tara Spires-Jones, a Brain Sciences expert
What is the message for all of us? That sleep disturbance occurs a long time before dementia happens. This could be an early warning of dementia that is to come. But it is likely that poor sleep leaves the brain vulnerable to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
“The best evidence suggests that not smoking, only drinking in moderation, staying mentally and physically active, eating a balanced diet, and keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check can all help to keep our brains healthy as we age.”
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