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Too Much or Lack of Sleep Linked to Dementia

Posted by on August 9, 2012

sleep duration linked to dementiaPeople who sleep too much or too little during night are at higher risk of dementia, new study finds.

American researchers have found that older women who sleep five hours or less a night over a five-year period suffered lower scores in reasoning and vocabulary tests. Those who sleep more than nine hours a night also showed signs of accelerated cognitive decline. The academics believed that those who suffered cognitive decline may be more prone to dementia.

This study was conducted by Elizabeth Devore from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. In the study, the researcher looked at 15,000 women who aged over 70 for over 5 years. The women had all underwent a routine test to check their attention, concentration and memory span and those who usually slept for seven hours performed much better than those who slept less than five hours or more than nine.

“Our findings support the notion that changes in sleep duration over time may lead to cognitive decline and early Alzheimer’s in older women,” said lead researcher Devore, as quoted in the Daily Mail.

According to the spokesman for the Alzheimer Society, “a good night’s sleep is one of the pleasures of life, but, once again, this study strongly suggests that the quality and duration of sleep had been also linked to people’s cognitive health.”

“While this link is now fairly well-established, further research is needed to determine whether factors such as sleep duration are the exact cause of cognitive decline,” he said.

Apart from good quality sleep, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can all reduce your risk of dementia.