Sleep is essential to maintaining good physical and mental health. Among other things, the brain allows iteliminate toxins and from consolidate the information received during the day. However, as people age, they often have trouble falling asleep or sleeping well.
Many scientists believe that these sleep disorders contribute to this cognitive decline and psychiatric disorders observed in older people. Researchers from Fudan University (China) and Cambridge University (UK) wanted to check this. They discovered that 7 hours of sleep was the optimal duration to maintain cognitive performance.
7 hours of sleep protects against cognitive decline
Almost 500,000 adults aged 38 to 73 were observed in the international study. They were asked about their sleeping habits, mental health and well-being. They also underwent one set of cognitive tests. Brain scans and genetic data were collected from nearly 40,000 participants.
By analyzing this data, the scientists found this out insufficient and excessive sleep duration were associated with impairments in cognitive performance, such as processing speed, visual attention, memory, and problem-solving skills.
They also found that the ideal amount of sleep was for optimal cognitive functioning 7 hours. This duration also helps maintain mental health. People had more than signs of anxiety and depression when they spent more or less time in Morpheus’ arms.
For the international team, their findings suggest that excessive and insufficient sleep may be a risk factor for cognitive decline with age.
In their article, published April 28, 2022 in the journal Nature Aging, the researchers suggest that the discovered link between insufficient rest and cognitive decline could be due to it Disorder of slow (deep) wave sleep. Interrupting this phase has been shown to affect memory consolidation and lead to the accumulation ofamyloid, a key protein that can cause “tangles” in the brain that are characteristic of some forms of dementia. In addition, lack of sleep can impair the brain’s ability to get rid of toxins.
Professor Jianfeng Feng from Fudan University explained: “Although we cannot conclusively say that too little or too much sleep causes cognitive problems, our analysis of individuals observed over a long period of time seems to support this idea… But The reasons why older people sleep less well seem to be complexinfluenced by a combination of our genetic makeup and the structure of our brain”.
“A good night’s sleep is important in all phases of life, but especially in old age. Finding ways to improve sleep in older people could be crucial in helping them maintain good mental health and avoid cognitive decline, particularly for patients with psychiatric disorders and dementia,” added Professor Barbara Sahakian of to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.