Latest News » Study: Midlife sleeping patterns can negatively impact future memory support

Getting too little or too much sleep in your midlife could negatively affect memory support in your senior years.

The importance of getting at least seven hours of sleep each night cannot be overstated enough. Although some may claim they simply can't find the time to get in that much sleep every night, the fact is those seven hours are crucial to giving your body some much-needed rest as well as recharge for the next day ahead. But sleeping too much can have detrimental effects on your health too. This was reinforced by a new study conducted at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, which determined that sleeping too much or too little in your middle-aged years can negatively impact memory support later in life.

According to The Huffington Post, the hospital researchers assessed the sleep habits of over 15,000 women over the age of 70. The study's investigators found that the women who slept for either five hours or less or nine hours or more during their midlife years struggled with memory loss now compared to those who had gotten around seven hours of sleep then. Additionally, the women in the study who had changed their sleep patterns by more than two hours exhibited poorer memories than those who were more consistent in how long they slept.

"Given the importance of preserving memory into later life, it is critical to identify modifiable factors, such as sleeping habits, that may help achieve this goal," said Elizabeth Devore, the study's lead researcher, in an official statement. "Our findings suggest that getting an 'average' amount of sleep, seven hours per day, may help maintain memory in later life and that clinical interventions based on sleep therapy should be examined for the prevention of cognitive impairment."

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