Sleep Away Dementia?


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should get at least seven hours of sleep per night. In the short-term, lack of sleep may cause emotional distress, slower response times, and increased stress levels. And now long-term effects may include some irreversible health problems such as dementia

According to the CDC, the United States is becoming a sleep deprived nation.

Jagdish Khubchadani, PhD, a professor of public health at New Mexico State University, told Ivanhoe, “2008, some 25 percent of Americans slept less than seven hours which is required. By 2018, those numbers have become a third of Americans are sleeping lesser than they should.”

The negative effects from that shortage of sleep are long.

Khubchadani  detailed, “Anxiety, your reflexes become poor, your judgment becomes poor, anger management becomes an issue and in the long run, you continue to gain weight. You have a risk of heart disease, cancers, and stroke.”

Now recent studies show that lack of sleep can increase your risk for dementia too. Researchers at Harvard found people who slept fewer than five hours per night were twice as likely to develop dementia and twice as likely to die, compared to those who slept six to eight hours per night. In another study in Europe, researchers found sleeping six hours or less at age 50, 60, and 70 was associated with a 30 percent increase in dementia risk compared to sleeping seven hours. So how can you get some quality ZZZ’s?

“Maintaining a schedule, keeping technology away in the bedroom, not drinking coffee and alcohol before you sleep. Those are three basic things that you can do to, you know, ensure that you’re getting a good quality sleep and are at lower risk for health problems,” explained Khubchadani.

Experts say avoid using over-the-counter sleeping pills as they can do more harm than good. However, if your sleep disruption is causing you distress, seek a qualified physician to diagnose you and prescribe proper medication.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.


REPORT #2960

BACKGROUND: There is a certain number of hours of sleep our body requires to function properly. While there is no precise number of hours, it is recommended by professionals that for children it’s anywhere from ten to 13 hours, teens it is about ten hours, adults should aim for about seven to nine hours, and for people who are 65 and older it’s a little less than seven. Sleep is important and a lack of sleep can cause lack of attention span, impaired memory, obesity, depression, and high blood pressure. To try to keep the recommended number of hours of shut eye include keeping a consistent schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and putting away your devices before bed to limit the amount of blue light. Blue light stimulates cells in your brain that tells it to stay awake. Not looking at your device or a TV for a long amount of time allows your brain to relax and stop firing off as many neurons.

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THE STUDY: Sleep is important and missing one night or a few hours can lead to some minor issues with thinking but imagine missing multiple hours over a series of months. This can lead to bigger mental issues. Studies performed by PubMed, EMBase, ISI Web of Science, and PsycINFO show that sleep deprivation increase dementia risk by 20 percent. A study done using 7,959 participants looked at the relationship between the amount of sleep and increased risk of dementia in midlife citizens. Researcher found that after 25 years there were 521 cases on dementia because of a lack of sleep. The heightened risk is associated with the duration of sleep lasting less than six hours at ages 50 and 60 compared to those at the same ages but achieving seven hours of sleep. This study showed that those at ages 50, 60, and 70 with short sleep durations had a 30 percent increased risk of developing dementia.


PREVENTING DIMENTIA: Dementia is an umbrella term that is used to describe many different mental illnesses and because it’s an umbrella term there are always studies being done to help either improve or prevent cognitive decline. If someone is already suffering from dementia, some activities you could do at home to make them feel better include helping that person stay calm and oriented by, sticking to a schedule and, encouraging activities that are both enjoyable and stimulating. Another option is to get a nurse to help take care of them. Many dementia patients want to live at home where it feels familiar having someone there who knows how to take care of them is the best of both worlds. To help prevent dementia you can take control of your health. Eat right, exercise and get the correct amount of sleep. When getting the correct amount of sleep try to not use artificial sleep inducers. Get your body on the right track and let it relax and regroup before the next day.
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* For More Information, Contact:

Jagdish Khubchadani, PhD

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