Sleep loss in middle age may increase dementia risk

In a new study from the French national health research institute INSERM, researchers found that sleeping six hours or less per night in your 50s and 60s is linked to an increased risk of dementia.

They found a higher risk of dementia in those sleeping six or fewer hours per night at the ages of 50 or 60, compared to those who have a “normal” seven hours in bed.

In the study, the team analyzed data from a long-term study by University College London, which has followed the health of 7,959 British individuals since 1985.

There was also a 30% increased dementia risk in those with consistently short sleeping patterns from the age of 50 to 70, irrespective of cardiometabolic or mental health issues, which are known risk factors for dementia.

Participants self-reported their sleep duration, while about 3,900 of them also wore watch devices overnight to confirm their estimates.

Nearly ten million new cases of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, are counted each year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and disrupted sleep is a common symptom.

But a growing body of research suggests sleep patterns before the onset of dementia could also contribute to the development of the disease.

Time spent sleeping is linked to dementia risk in older adults—65 years and older—but it is unclear whether this association is also true for younger age groups, according to the authors.

They said future research may be able to determine whether improving sleep patterns can help prevent dementia.

If you care about sleep health, please read studies about this sleep problem may lead to high blood pressure and findings of common painkillers may lead to obesity, sleep problems, heart attacks.

For more information about sleep and wellness, please see recent studies about this sleep problem linked to blinding eye disease in people with diabetes and results showing that healthy snacks may help you fight sleep deprivation.

The study is published in Nature Communications. One author of the study is Sara Imarisio.

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