Sleeping a few hours is linked to an increased risk of developing dementia


Sleeping six hours or less per night between the ages of fifty and seventy has been shown to be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new study that has followed nearly 8,000 British adults for more than 25 years.
The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, showed that the risk of developing dementia is 20 to 40 percent higher for people who sleep short, and whose sleep duration is equal to six hours a night, or less, at the age of fifty or sixty. Which is the case among those who spend “normal” nights of no less than seven hours of sleep.
This study, issued by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research and the University of Paris in cooperation with the University College in London, concluded that there is a link between sleep duration and the risk of developing dementia, but it did not reach a confirmation of the cause-effect relationship. Researcher Severin Sabya and her colleagues also noted that the risk of developing dementia is 30 percent higher for people between the ages of 50 and 70 who sleep systematically for a short period of time, regardless of their potential cardiovascular health problems, metabolism, or depression. They are risk factors for dementia.
Study participants self-assessed their sleep duration six times between 1985 and 2015. And in 2012, about 3,900 of them also put an accelerometer watch that detects movement during their sleep at night in order to verify the accuracy of their estimates, confirming findings on the risk of developing dementia over a period spanning March 2019.
Every year around the world there are about 10 million new cases of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, according to the World Health Organization. Sleep is often impaired in patients with it. However, a growing body of research evidence indicates that sleep patterns prior to the onset of dementia may also contribute to disease progression.
The “French National Institute for Health and Medical Research” stressed that these results show that sleep in middle age can play a role in brain health, and thus emphasizes the importance of good sleep habits for health. And the journal Nature indicated that future research may be able to determine whether improving sleep patterns helps prevent dementia.
Dr. Sarah Imaricio, of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fund, said: “Quitting smoking, continuing mental and physical activity, following a balanced diet, and controlling cholesterol levels and blood pressure are factors that may help maintain the health of our brains with age.”


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