Sleep appears to have a purpose beyond just resetting us from being tired. Lack of quality during our nightly snooze supports a range of disorders such as Alzheimers disease and strokes. Did this wake you up? Read more about the study published in the April 2017 Neuron journal.
Lack of Sleep Linked to Nearly Every Late-life Disease
The secret to keeping your mind and body young and vibrant at any age: getting your beauty sleep.
Contrary to popular belief, older adults need more — not less — slumber, according to an April 2017 study published in the journal Neuron. In fact, lack of quality shut-eye among senior citizens can raise their risk of memory loss and suffering wide range of mental and physical disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and stroke.
“Nearly every disease killing us in later life has a causal link to lack of sleep,” Matthew Walker, senior author of the study and professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, stated in a press release. “We’ve done a good job of extending life span, but a poor job of extending our health span. We now see sleep, and improving sleep, as a new pathway for helping remedy that.”
“I am not surprised by these findings,” Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, tells Yahoo Beauty. “A great deal of the research that promoted the idea that older people need less sleep was based on surveys of older people’s sleeping habits, and did not consider how they felt about the quality of their sleep and their daytime alertness.”
Oexman, who is also a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, explains that there are a few common risk factors for inadequate sleep among all generations: They include depression, alcohol use, and pain, as well as side effects from certain medications.
The study authors pointed out that “dissatisfying sleep” can began when adults enter their 30s, and it can spiral into cognitive and physical ailments once someone hits middle age. Oexman adds that the previous risk factors, along with stress — caused by one’s career, parenting, and caring for aging parents, for example — contribute to this problem.
“As we age, we also see changes in our ability to manage shifts in our circadian rhythm,” Oexman continues. “This happens as we fluctuate our bedtimes and wake times to accommodate work schedules, kids’ schedules, and recreational activities on the weekend.”
However, sleeping issues may also occur because “our aging brain may not be able to function as it did when we were younger,” adds Oexman. “For some people, this may happen quicker than others and may be influenced by environmental factors, exercise, eating habits, drug use, and alcohol.” Read more…
Pay attention now to the quality of your shut-eye so you may experience a healthier life.