Sleep problems in older adults linked to cognitive decline and dementia

Sleep problems in older adults linked to cognitive decline and dementia

by Lisa Rapaport, Reuters

People who have trouble falling asleep may be at increased risk of developing cognitive problems or dementia than their counterparts who sleep well, a research review suggests.

Researchers examined data on 51 previously published studies that followed middle-aged and older people in North America, Europe and East Asia for at least several years to see if sleep issues were associated with cognitive health over time.

Individuals with insomnia were 27% more likely to develop cognitive problems, the study found. People who had what’s known as sleep inadequacy, or an insufficient amount of quality rest, were 25% more likely to develop dementia, the researchers also found.

So-called sleep inefficiency, or spending too much time wide awake in bed, was associated with a 24% greater chance of cognitive decline, the study team reports in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry.

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