Researchers have found that older people who sleep earlier and for more than eight hours at a time are 70% more likely to develop dementia than their peers (file photo)

Earlier, longer sleep linked to increased risk of dementia, study finds

Staying up late and sleeping LESS than eight hours lowers dementia risk, say scientists: Going to bed earlier and sleeping longer may be bad for brain health

  • Older people who go to bed earlier and sleep longer are more likely to develop dementia, new study finds
  • Those who go to bed before 9 p.m. each night and sleep well over eight hours each night suffer a 70% increased risk
  • Researchers believe these sleep patterns are a warning sign that a person will eventually develop the cognitive condition.
  • Previously, researchers noted that disturbances and odd sleep patterns are a sign of poor brain health in some Americans.

Going to bed early for a long night’s rest could increase an older person’s risk of developing dementia, according to a new study.

A Chinese research team from Shandong University in the northeast of the country found that people over 60 who went to bed before 9 p.m. each night and slept more than eight hours on average had an increased risk. to develop dementia than their peers who slept less and stayed up later.

Although quality sleep is generally linked to good brain health, this study shows that there is a risk that a person sleeps too much. Experts also often warn that older people who start sleeping more than usual may be showing an early sign of dementia.

Researchers believe that older people who suddenly start sleeping for long periods should be monitored and screened for dementia in order to start treatment earlier.

Researchers have found that older people who sleep earlier and for more than eight hours at a time are 70% more likely to develop dementia than their peers (file photo)

The research team, which published its findings Wednesday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, collected sleep data from nearly 2,000 participants between the ages of 60 and 74.

Each answered questions about their regular sleep and were assessed to assess their cognitive function.

They were followed for about four years on average to assess their sleep patterns and current brain health.

Over the four-year period, the researchers found that those who often slept for long hours were 70% more likely to develop the devastating dementia.

While this study may come as a surprise – because getting a long, quality sleep each night is often associated with quality brain health – experts have long warned that abnormal sleep patterns are often indicators that a person will suffer from cognitive decline.

Excess sleep, insomnia and sleep disturbances are considered by experts to be key early indicators that a person will eventually suffer from cognitive disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. ‘coming.

Sometimes it’s the first symptom to appear, sometimes years before a person realizes something else is wrong.

A study published earlier this month by researchers at Stanford University found that a person’s sleep age – which is more related to sleep disturbances than duration – can accurately predict the mortality risk and cognitive health.

Experts recommend people avoid exercise, large meals, alcohol or caffeine right before bed, keep a consistent sleep schedule, and avoid afternoon naps to help prevent sleep fragmentation, which puts them at increased risk of developing long-term cognitive problems.

Experts recommend people avoid exercise, large meals, alcohol or caffeine right before bed, keep a consistent sleep schedule, and avoid afternoon naps to help prevent sleep fragmentation, which puts them at increased risk of developing long-term cognitive problems.

“Going to bed and waking up at regular times is key to improving sleep,” he explained.

“That means not oversleeping, but making sure you’re fully rested. It’s a different amount for everyone and often the window varies slightly, for example, being a night owl versus an early riser.

‘Get solid exposure to light – preferably outdoor light – during the day, keep sleep environment dark at night, exercise regularly but not too close to bedtime, do not drink alcohol and caffeine at bedtime and avoiding heavy meals at night all contribute to healthy sleep,’ said Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, a Stanford professor of sleep medicine who contributed to the study, to Neuroscience News.

Other experts have also recommended people not to nap too late in the afternoon so as not to disturb their nighttime sleep and cause them to go to bed at an abnormal time.

Heavy meals within two hours of bedtime are also not recommended.

Mignot also says that a person who believes they have a sleep problem seeks medical attention, because sometimes medical intervention — not just behavioral changes — is needed for a person to improve their sleep.

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