An international team of scientists analyzed data from nearly 500,000 middle-aged people. Studies have shown that both insufficient and excessive sleep are associated with cognitive impairment. The researchers also estimated the optimal number of hours of sleep for health and well-being.
Seven hours is the ideal sleep time for middle-aged and elderly people. Writing in the scientific journal Nature Aging, researchers write that poor sleep is linked to poorer cognitive performance and mental health.
500,000 people participated in the study
Sleep plays an important role in maintaining good mental health. It also helps maintain brain health by removing waste. With age, you often notice changes in sleep patterns, including difficulty falling asleep, uninterrupted sleep, and poor sleep quality.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK and Fudan University in China analyzed data from nearly 500,000 adults aged 38-73 from the UK Biobank. Participants were asked about their sleep patterns, mental health and wellness. They also took part in a series of cognitive tests. For nearly 40,000 of them, scientists had genetic data and brain imaging.
For health and well-being
The team found that both insufficient and excessive sleep time were associated with impaired cognitive functions such as information processing speed, visual attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Seven hours of sleep is the optimal length.
Good sleep is important throughout life, especially as you age. The professor concluded that finding ways to improve sleep in older adults could be crucial to helping them maintain mental health and well-being. Barbara Sahakian of the University of Cambridge.
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