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Less than 5 hours of sleep can double your risk of memory loss


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Less than five hours of sleep a night can harm brain health and increase dementia risk.

Not getting enough sleep doubled Alzheimer’s risk and the risk of a premature death.

Based on 2,610 over-65s who completed sleep questionnaires.

Participants rated their alertness, frequency of naps, how long it took to fall asleep, snoring and sleep duration and quality.

Data collected for up to five years on outcomes like dementia and death from any cause.

Longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep facing a 45 per cent higher risk of incident dementia.

Napping often, struggling to stay alert and poor sleep quality were also linked to a greater risk of death.

"Our findings illuminate a connection between sleep deficiency and risk of dementia.” - Rebecca Robbins, lead author.

“..need for further research on improving sleep and treating sleep disorders on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and mortality.” - Charles Czeisler, senior author.

Research published in the journal Aging.

Too much or too little sleep increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease in older adults

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Bio-medical journal covering research on all aspects of gerontology

Charles Czeisler

Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine and Director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School