Sleeping less than 5 hours, or more than 9, can lead to cognitive decline

Posted on May 10, 2014

A group of women tak­ing part in the Nurses' Health Study were asked about their sleep habits in 1986 and 2000, and were inter­viewed about mem­ory and think­ing skills three times over a later six-year period. Devore and her col­leagues observed worse per­for­mance on brain test­ing among women who slept five hours or fewer per night or nine hours or more, com­pared with those get­ting seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

How might sleep affect mem­ory? Peo­ple who are per­sis­tently sleep deprived are more likely to have high blood pres­sure, dia­betes, and nar­rowed blood ves­sels. Each of these can decrease blood flow inside the brain. Brain cells need a lot of oxy­gen and sugar, so blood flow prob­lems could affect their abil­ity to work properly…Another pos­si­bil­ity is a two-way street between sleep and mem­ory: sleep qual­ity may affect mem­ory and think­ing, and the brain changes that cause mem­ory and think­ing prob­lems may dis­turb sleep.

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Category(s):Sleep Disorders

Source material from Sharp Brains

Mental Health News