The sleep we get today can impact our mental health tomorrow. A study has warned that sleeping too little for long periods of time will disrupt how we think and will age the brain up to seven years.
The recommended amount is six to eight hours sleep per night and getting less or more than that will increase the speed of the decline in cognitive reasoning and will affect the abilities in vocabulary and reasoning. Worsening brain function researchers said could lead to physical decline and even early death.
The study shows that seven hours sleep each night resulted in the best score in all cognitive measures. The scientists showed how over a five year period, changes in sleep in late middle age adversely affected cognitive function later in life.
Measured were reasoning, vocabulary, memory, semantic, fluency, phonemic fluency and overall cognitive status. Close to 8% of those that slept longer than the 6 to 8 hours recommended amount did not fare as well as the others except for short term memory.
Eighteen percent of the men and twenty five percent of the women that averaged less sleep suffered a decline in their capacity for vocabulary and reasoning.
Sleepiness and sleep deprivation will have adverse effects on ones performance, errors of commission, attention, concentration and response times. Additionally sleep duration is associated with a great deal of quality of life measurements like social functioning, physical and mental health and earlier than normal death.
The main result that came out of the study was adverse changes in the amount of sleep appear to be associated in later-middle age with poorer cognitive function. The detrimental effects of poor quality, too little or too much sleep on differing aspects of health are now starting to get more attention.
Our society today of going at a rate of 24/7 is increasingly infringing on the lives of many and it is very important to consider the effects that a change in sleep patterns or duration will have on your well-being and health in the long term. The ideal level of an average of seven hours results in higher cognitive measure.