More bad news about getting old. Too little or too much sleep could be bad for the brain, specifically it could put you at risk of Alzheimer’s.
According to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US, elderly women who slept fewer than five hours per day or more than nine hours per day had worse brain functions than those who slept seven hours per day.
This was among the studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. For the study, it included some 15,000 women over the age of 70 who were first analysed between 1995 and 2000. They were measured on their brain functioning and this continued on for every two years for a total of six years. The results showed that those who slept too much or too little experienced changes in brain functioning equivalent to two years of aging.
It was also reported that if a woman’s sleeping pattern increased by two or more hours per day as she moved on from mid-life to later on in life, her brain functioning was also significantly worse.
In a statement, researcher Elizabeth Devore, Sc.D said, “our findings support the notion that extreme sleep durations and changes in sleep duration over time may contribute to cognitive decline and early Alzheimer’s changes in older adults.”
Other studies presented also touched on the link between sleep and other brain-related conditions. The University of California found that people with sleep disorder like sleep apnea had a double risk of dementia or mild cognitive impairment over a five-year period. While French researchers at INSERM said that people who often experienced daytime sleepiness are more likely to be at risk of declining brain functions.
Source: The Huffington Post