A doctor talks recent study that links dementia to lack of sleep

A recent study shows that elderly people, who get less than 7 hours of sleep, are more likely to develop dementia.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Sleep, it’s something we all need more of right?
A recent study shows that elderly people, who get less than 7 hours of sleep, are more likely to develop dementia.

“There certainly is a correlation between aging and poor sleep,” said Dr. Aaron Robinson, CHI Health ENT. “There’s a significant number that may be as high as 50 percent or more of elderly people who have sleeping issues.

It’s a big issue that’s under-addressed mainly because we don’t have good ways to treat it all the time.”

A Nature Communications study examined the habits of 8,000 people for 25 years and found people who slept 6 hours or less were more likely to develop dementia.

Dr. Robinson says this is a big step in finding what causes dementia and Alzheimer’s, but so far this shows that age and sleep issues could be a factor.

“You know you start to retire and you have more time on your hands,” said Robinson.

“Sometimes that can be a big issue too and so people that are retired and in their late 60s, early 70s start to have poor sleep because that routine is gone.”

Robinson says many people in their 50’s and 60’s have sleep apnea and are not diagnosed. He adds men who are overweight in that age range are more likely to have these issues.

The doctor says it’s important to have a healthy sleep routine.

“You know short temper, headaches, fatigue, daytime fatigue, increased risk of depression, weight gain, there’s a long, long list of results that come from poor sleep,” said Robinson.

“Having a good routine where your bedroom is kind of a sacred space for sleep you know not working in bed not eating in bed. Things that are going to stimulate your brain and make you not get ready to go to sleep.”

Robinson says if you have any sleep issues to visit a doctor. He adds it’s better to catch the problems early than later.

The study also showed that 7 to 8 hours of sleep no more and no less was lead to healthier elderly people in that study, so prioritize your sleep! The study can be found here.

 

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