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Health & Fit Are You Hitting Your Sleep "Sweet Spot?" New Research Suggests Doing So Will Keep Your Brain Sharp

10:45  23 october  2021
10:45  23 october  2021 Source:   marthastewart.com

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Are You Hitting Your Sleep " Sweet Spot ?" New Research Suggests Doing So Will Keep Your Brain Sharp . Getting too little or too much sleep can cause cognitive decline, according to a new study published in the journal Brain . Madeline Buiano, Staff Writer at Martha Stewart. New Research Suggests Doing So Will Keep Your Brain Sharp .

Getting too little or too much sleep can cause cognitive decline, according to a new study published in the journal Brain . New Research Suggests Doing So Will Keep Your Brain Sharp .

It seems as though the age-old saying "everything in moderation" applies to sleep, too. According to a new study highlighted by CNN and published in the journal Brain, getting roughly six to eight of hours of quality sleep most nights appears to delay cognitive decline and keep the brain sharp, even when the effects of early Alzheimer's disease were taken into account. "It's been challenging to determine how sleep and different stages of Alzheimer's disease are related, but that's what you need to know to start designing interventions," says first author Brendan Lucey, MD, an associate professor of neurology and director of the Washington University Sleep Medicine Center.

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Hitting a sleep " sweet spot " has a positive correlation to retaining cognitive ability, a study said. (Photo by Kira Hofmann/picture alliance via Getty Images) dpa/picture alliance via Getty I. “It suggests that sleep quality may be key, as opposed to simply total sleep .” The researchers aimed at untangling the complex connections between sleep and cognitive decline and said the findings could help people keep their minds sharp , especially as they age. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects just under 6 million people in the United States ages 65 and older, according to the Mayo

Recent research suggests that there is a sleep sweet spot ; too little or too much sleep has been linked to cognitive decline. Short and long sleep times were associated with worse cognitive performance, perhaps due to insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality. An unanswered question is if we can intervene to improve sleep , such as increasing sleep time for short sleepers by an hour or so , would that have a positive effect on their cognitive performance so they no longer decline?

GI/Tom Grill / Getty Images © Provided by Martha Stewart Living GI/Tom Grill / Getty Images Getting too little or too much sleep can cause cognitive decline, according to a new study published in the journal Brain. © GI/Tom Grill / Getty Images Getting too little or too much sleep can cause cognitive decline, according to a new study published in the journal Brain.

The findings suggest that there is a sweet spot for total sleep time where cognitive performance appears to be stable over time. To find this, researchers obtained sleep and Alzheimer's data on 100 participants whose cognitive brain function had been monitored for an average of four and a half years. Most (88) participants had no cognitive impairments, the rest were either very mildly impaired or had mild cognitive impairment. The researchers found that only participants who slept six to eight hours retained brain function.

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"Our study suggests that there is a middle range, or ' sweet spot ,' for total sleep time where cognitive performance was stable over time. Short and long sleep times were associated with worse cognitive performance, perhaps due to insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality. Poor sleep is a common symptom of the disease and a driving force that can accelerate the disease's progression. Studies have shown that self-reported short and long sleepers are both more likely to perform poorly on cognitive tests, but such sleep studies typically do not include assessments of Alzheimer's disease.

"Our study suggests that there is a middle range, or ' sweet spot ,' for total sleep time where cognitive performance was stable over time. An unanswered question is if we can intervene to improve sleep , such as increasing sleep time for short sleepers by an hour or so , would that have a positive effect on their cognitive performance so they no longer decline? We need more longitudinal data to answer this question."


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As you get older, just like your physical body starts to slow down and become less able to perform the way it did in your younger years, so too does your mind. Memories may become a bit foggier, recall may become a bit slower, and you generally may notice you're just not as mentally sharp as you once were. Oftentimes this is perfectly normal—a natural part of the aging process. However, frequent and pronounced inability to remember things or perform easy tasks may be a sign of dementia, which the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) defines as the

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Participants who slept fewer than five and a half hours appeared to have a decline in cognitive performance, even when researchers controlled for factors like age, sex, and Alzheimer's disease. The same results hold true for people who get a lot of sleep. Cognitive decline was noted in participants who slept for more than about seven and a half hours. "Short and long sleep times were associated with worse cognitive performance, perhaps due to insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality," Lucey says.

Poor sleep is a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease, which is the main cause of cognitive decline in older adults and contributes to about 70 percent of dementia cases. The study is further proof of how important it is to start practicing good sleep habits early on. According to the Mayo Clinic, good sleep starts with a schedule—go to bed and get up at the same time every day. The health care company also recommends limiting daytime naps, staying physically active, creating a restful sleep environment, and monitoring what you eat and drink before bed.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!