Regardless of the fact that Americans constantly complain about losing many hours of sleep due to their incredibly busy lifestyles, a new study suggests that it might actually be good for them to avoid spending too many hours sleeping. This research says that older adults who sleep for more than nine hours a night have a higher risk of developing dementia.
The study compared elderly people who sleep less than nine hours to those who sleep more and found that those who tend to spend more time sleeping have twice the risk of experiencing this illness.
However, there is no way to combat the onset of the disease. Researchers advise people not to wake up their older relatives. Dr. Sudha Seshadri, the lead author of the study and a neurology professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine, declared that more hours of sleep are not a cause of dementia, but rather a marker of the risk.
In the study, the researchers looked at 2,457 participants from Massachusetts aged 72 that used to sleep excessively. Also, they were more likely to have Alzheimer’s, which is a type of dementia.
The hypothesis of the researchers is the fact that people start sleeping more to compensate for the reactions of the body against the changes that occur in the brain. In dementia, amyloid compounds start building up in the brain and the patients might sleep more as a reaction to the body trying to remove the compounds.
This raises the question of how many hours of sleep per day are necessary. This differs from age to age. For example, newborns need to sleep up to 17 hours a day, young children around 13 hours a day, older children 11 hours a day, and teenagers 10 hours a day.
Adults are fine if they sleep between seven and nine hours, but older adults are advised to have a lighter sleep pattern. Medical professionals advise people to have their sleep interrupted to achieve the perfect rest.
Although it might not seem so important, people should get all the hours of sleep they need not only to be in better health, but also to increase their productivity levels. Thus, sleeping fewer hours than one needs is not an achievement and it might turn out problematic.
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