Lack of Sleep in Middle Age May Increase Dementia Risk

A recent study, supported in part by NIA, examined how sleep patterns earlier in life may affect the risk of developing dementia decades later.

Researchers examined data from nearly 8,000 people in Britain starting at age 50. Participants were assessed on a variety of measures, including being asked on six different occasions during the study period how many hours they slept a night. Over the course of the study, 521 participants were diagnosed with dementia, at an average age of 77.

Analysis of the data showed that people in their 50s and 60s getting six hours of sleep or less were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia later compared to those getting seven hours. The findings suggest that short sleep duration during midlife could increase the risk of developing dementia later in life.

Read more about the study on NIA’s website.

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