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This many hours of sleep you need to prevent dementia

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    This many hours of sleep you need to prevent dementia

    This many hours of sleep you need to prevent dementia
    People over the age of 50 who consistently sleep too little, and who don't get more than 6 hours of sleep per day, are 30 percent more likely to have dementia at the age of 75 than people over the age of 50 who sleep 7 hours per day.



    Study

    French researchers at the Inserm research institute analyzed the data of nearly 8,000 civil servants collected in the British Whitehall II study. The study began when the study participants were, on average, 50 years old. The participants were followed for a quarter of a century.Results
    The study participants who slept relatively little at age 50, 60 or 70, and who averaged 6 hours of sleep per day, were 22, 37 and 24 percent more likely to develop dementia at age 75 than the study participants who reported 7 hours of sleep per 24-hour period.

    The study participants who consequently reached an average of 6 hours of sleep at the age of 50, 60 and 70 were 30 percent more likely to develop dementia than the participants who achieved 7 hours of sleep per day.
    In a sub-study in 2012-2013, the researchers recorded the amount of sleep in 3888 study participants once using an accelerometer. After all, asking is good, but measuring is better. The researchers then followed the participants for 6.8 years.
    It also turned out that the participants who clocked 7 hours of sleep every day were less likely to develop dementia than the study participants who slept fewer hours. The less sleep, the greater the chance.



    In this study, done among individuals who are not physically active, 7 hours of sleep was optimal. However, sleeping more than seven hours did not lead to a significant increase in the risk of dementia.
    Mechanism
    Based on experimental and fundamental studies, the researchers suspect that plaques, which damage brain cells and play a role in dementia, are broken down during sleep.

    Conclusion
    "Short sleep duration in midlife is associated with an increased risk of dementia", the researchers summarize. "Public health messages to encourage good sleep hygiene may be particularly important for people at a higher risk of dementia."

    Source:
    Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 20;12(1):2289.
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