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Study Finds Sleep Deficiency Associated With Greater Risk of Dementia

Sleep deficiency occurs when you have one or more of the following: You don't get enough sleep (sleep deprivation), you sleep at the wrong time of day (that is, you're out of sync with your body's natural clock), you don't sleep well or get all the different types of sleep that your body needs. A recent study suggests that sleep deficiency in mature adults may double the risk of dementia.

Participants in the study included 2,610 adults with an average age of 76 who took part in the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Participants completed surveys used to assess sleep disturbance and duration. They were followed for an average of 5 years and all occurrences of dementia and all-cause mortality were recorded.

Participants who reported getting less than 5 hours of sleep per night had double the risk of dementia compared to those who got 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Habitually taking 30 minutes or longer to fall asleep was associated with a 45% greater risk of dementia. In addition, difficulty maintaining alertness, napping every day, very poor sleep quality, and less than 5 hours of sleep duration were associated with a greater risk of all-cause mortality.

The study was conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.It was published online ahead of print on February 11, 2021 in the journal Aging.

 

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