According to a recent small study, too much or too little sleep are both linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline.
The study involved information from 100 older people around 75 years old, to investigate whether there is a relationship between their sleep and cognitive decline. By tracking cognitive function of the participants during 4.5 years and analyzing it against levels of Alzheimer’s-related proteins and measures of brain activity during sleep, the researchers found an U-shaped relationship. The optimal amount of sleeping hours for the stable brain health of participants turned to be between 5.5 and 7.5 hours. Those, who slept less than 5.5 and more than 7.5 hours at night, had more cognitive decline over the years.
Whether increasing sleep time for short sleepers would have a positive effect on their cognitive performance is a question for further investigation.
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