Poor sleep means poor brain health, study finds

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Sleep is something we all need, but did you know it’s not just about feeling rested? A recent study has shown that how much you sleep can affect your brain in big ways, especially as you get older.

This isn’t just about feeling sleepy or alert; it’s about serious health issues like stroke and dementia.

The main man behind this research is Dr. Santiago Clocchiatti-Tuozzo. He works at Yale School of Medicine and really knows his stuff about brains and health.

He and his team wanted to figure out how to stop bad things from happening to the brain before they actually happen.

So, what did they do? They looked at brain scans – pictures that show what’s going on inside our heads – of almost 40,000 people who are not too young but not too old either. They were checking two key things in the brain.

The first is something called white matter hyperintensities (WMH for short). These are like little warning signs in the brain that tell us it’s getting older. The second thing is fractional anisotropy, which is a fancy way of saying how well water moves along the paths in our brain.

Now, here’s the kicker: people who slept too little or too much had some not-so-great signs in their brains. People who didn’t sleep enough had more of those warning signs (the WMHs) and had issues with water movement in their brain. And people who slept a lot?

They also had problems with water movement and bigger warning signs, but they didn’t necessarily have more of them.

Dr. Clocchiatti-Tuozzo thinks sleep is super important for keeping our brains healthy. It’s not just about feeling good when you wake up; it’s about making sure your brain stays strong as you get older.

The study tells us something really important: middle age is a key time to get our sleep right. It’s not just about sleeping a lot or a little; it’s about finding that sweet spot that’s just right for our brains.

And who helped Dr. Clocchiatti-Tuozzo in this big brain puzzle?

A bunch of smart people like Cyprien Rivier, Daniela Renedo, Victor Torres Lopez, Jacqueline Geer, Brienne Miner, Henry Yaggi, Adam de Havenon, Seyedmedhi Payabvash, Kevin Sheth, Thomas Gill, and Guido Falcone. Together, they’re hoping that their work can help us figure out how to sleep better so our brains can stay healthy for years to come.

In short, sleep isn’t just about dreaming or getting rid of tiredness. It’s a big part of keeping our brains in tip-top shape. So next time you think about pulling an all-nighter or staying in bed all day, remember: your brain might not be too happy about it!

If you care about sleep, please read studies about herb that could help you sleep well at night, and these drugs could lower severity of sleep apnea by one third.

For more information about sleep, please see recent studies that coffee boosts your physical activity, cuts sleep, affects heartbeat, and results showing how to deal with “COVID-somnia” and sleep well at night.

The research findings can be found in Journal of the American Heart Association.

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