A new study has found that people who sleep at least eight hours per night can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 70 per cent.
The results, published today in the journal Alzheimer’s & Alzheimer’s Research, were published in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sleep researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Cambridge conducted the study.
They recruited 4,622 people who were followed for about six years.
The study included participants from a group of more than 7,000 participants who had normal or corrected cognitive function.
The researchers then followed them through a three-year follow-up period.
The participants who slept eight hours or more per night reduced their risk of the disease by 20 per cent compared to those who slept less than eight hours.
The average risk reduction for those who sleep eight hours was about 60 per cent, or a risk reduction of about 40 per cent for people who slept six to nine hours.
Participants who slept four to eight hours had a similar risk reduction, although not as great.
They had about 50 per cent fewer cases of the brain disease.
There was also a reduction in the risk in the four to six hours group.
Dr. Joseph E. Nevin, one of the study’s authors, said that while people with moderate or mild cognitive impairment had a slightly higher risk of Alzheimer`s disease, the group of people who lived at least nine hours a night had a significantly lower risk.
He said that sleep is an essential part of the overall human experience, and that people can learn more about how to manage it with the right support.
”The question is: Is there something you can do to make sure you get enough sleep?
If you do, you are less likely to develop Alzheimer` s disease, he said.
The research team also looked at whether there was any benefit for people with a history of heart disease or hypertension, which are two of the main risk factors for Alzheimer` d.
They found no association between the amount of sleep and the risk for Alzheimer’s.
There is a link between Alzheimer` re s, a disorder that causes memory loss, and sleep problems, said Dr. Eileen A. Smith, a senior research fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at Brigham and Women`s Hospital.
However, she said that the data doesn’t show that there is a benefit from getting more sleep.
”People who sleep well are less susceptible to Alzheimer` t disease, she added.
A small study in Australia found that women who slept seven hours per day reduced their chance of developing a heart attack by 17 per cent more than those who had slept eight to nine.
This finding is consistent with studies that suggest women who have higher levels of sleep need less rest, Dr. Smith said.
It may be that the sleep patterns of the people who are at high risk for developing Alzheimer` m is a result of their genetics or some other environmental factor, she noted.
Dr Smith also said that people should avoid alcohol and other drugs that interfere with sleep.
The American Psychiatric Association recently recommended that all adults between the ages of 18 and 70 who are currently taking any type of medication should have sleep studies done.
Dr Nevin said that many people don t want to have a sleep disorder and are often reluctant to seek out help for it.
He added that people are also reluctant to make changes in their lifestyles that may lead to better sleep.
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