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Neither less nor more, seven hours of sleep needed for cognition & mental health


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Seven hours of sleep per night is the optimum amount for people in middle to older age, a study has found.

The University of Cambridge and Fudan University in China examined data from nearly 500,000 adults aged between 38 and 73.

Brain imaging and genetic data were also obtained for nearly 40,000 of the study participants.

People experiencing more symptoms of anxiety and depression, and poorer wellbeing, if they slept for longer or shorter time.

A lack of sleep may also affect the brain’s ability to rid itself of toxins.

”Getting a good night's sleep is important at all stages of life, but particularly as we age." said Professor Barbara Sahakian.

The research supports a link between reduced sleep and an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

"A healthy sleep pattern might be important to alleviate some of the symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease.” explains Jennifer Hurley.

Research by the University of Cambridge and Fudan University, published in Nature Aging.

Good night's sleep is a necessity, particularly as we age

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Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge


Globally ranked, research-oriented university, Shanghai, China


Richard Baruch M.D. Professor of Biological Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Journal spanning the entire spectrum of research into aging


Collegiate research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom