Getting less than six hours of sleep in your 50s and 60s could increase the risk of dementia, revealed a recent study. As per a study published in the journal Nature Communications a 25-year long study of 7959 British adults revealed that there was also a 30 percent increased dementia risk in those with consistently short sleeping patterns.
As per the study, the participants self-reported their sleep duration, while about half of them also wore watch devices overnight to confirm their estimates. It was discovered that people with normal sleeping patterns—at least seven hours a day—in middle age had a lesser risk of dementia in old age.
The study is important as it gives validation to a new school of thought that sleep patterns before the onset of dementia could contribute to the development of the disease. Traditionally, a disruptive sleeping pattern is seen as a symptom of dementia and not its cause.
As per World Health Organization (WHO), close to one crore of people is suffering from dementia across the globe. Though many saw it as an old-age problem, the study points that steps taken at a young age could be important when it comes to prevention.
Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK told Science Media Centre was quoted saying in an agency report that “while there is no magic bullet to prevent dementia, evidence suggests that not smoking, drinking in moderation, staying mentally and physically active and eating well are among the things that can "help to keep our brains healthy as we age."