People who have trouble falling asleep could also be at increased risk of developing cognitive problems or dementia than their equivalents who sleep well, a research review suggests.
Researchers examined knowledge on 51 previously printed studies that monitored middle-aged and older North Americans, Europeans, and East Asians for several years to see if sleep issues had been associated with cognitive health over time.
Individuals with insomnia had been 27% more prone to develop cognitive issues, the study discovered. People who were suffering from what’s called sleep inadequacy, or an insufficient quantity of quality relaxation, were 25% more likely to develop dementia.
So-called sleep inefficiency, or spending too much time awake in bed, was related to a 24% greater chance of cognitive drop, the research team writes in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry.
While the research wasn’t carried out to determine whether or how sleep problems directly cause cognitive decline or dementia, there are several attainable explanations, Xu stated by email.
Sleep problems may result in cognitive impairment by causing inflammation of tissue within the central nervous system together with the mind and spinal wire, Xu stated. Sleep difficulties may further lead cognitive issues by causing or exacerbating so-called cerebral hypoxia, or a reduction in oxygen provides within the brain, Xu added.
In addition, sleep issues could make the brain less efficient at eradicating waste and contribute to a lack of brain cells or atrophy in critical areas of the brain.
Most of the studies in the present analysis monitored participants for anywhere from about three years to 10, and a few tracked individuals for decades. Participants have been usually aged 50 or older at the start of those studies. Most of them were in their 70s.