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Too much or too little sleep can lead to greater cognitive decline

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Too much or too little sleep can lead to greater cognitive decline…and 7.5 hours is the right amount to preserve the brain and offset Alzheimer’s disease, new study finds

  • Seven and a half hours is ‘sweet spot’ to preserve the brain and compensate for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Those who get too little or too much sleep experience greater cognitive decline
  • In study, 100 older adults slept with the monitor strapped to their foreheads most nights










If you’re in the habit of sleeping eight hours a night, it’s best to start setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier.

Because seven and a half hours is the “sweet spot” for preserving the brain and compensating for Alzheimer’s disease, a study shows.

Those who get too little or too much sleep experience greater cognitive decline, according to research.

Seven and a half hours is the “sweet spot” to preserve the brain and offset Alzheimer’s disease, a study shows. (Stock Image)

Associate professor of neurology at Washington University Sleep Medicine Center Dr. Brendan Lucey said: ‘Our study suggests that there is a mid-range, or ‘sweet spot’, for total sleep time where cognitive performance was stable over time.

‘Short and long sleep times were associated with poorer cognitive performance, perhaps due to insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality.’

In the study, published in the journal Brain, 100 older adults with an average age of 75 slept with a small monitor strapped to their foreheads most nights to measure brain activity during sleep for an average of four and a half years.

In the Washington University Sleep Medicine Center study, 100 older adults with an average age of 75 slept with a small monitor strapped to their foreheads most nights.  (Stock Image)

In the Washington University Sleep Medicine Center study, 100 older adults with an average age of 75 slept with a small monitor strapped to their foreheads most nights. (Stock Image)

Scientists also took cerebrospinal fluid — found in the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord — to measure levels of Alzheimer’s proteins.

Cognitive scores dropped for the groups who slept for what would be the equivalent of less than five and a half or more than seven and a half hours per night.

Previous research has shown that memory loss, confusion and slower learning new things, all symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, are linked to poor sleep.

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