Saturday, January 31, 2015

Better sleep in younger years may aid memory in old age

Many people express concern over the likelihood that we will have increasing numbers of senile people, because of the aging of the baby boomers. At the same time, workers have to work excessive number of hours because wages haven't kept up with the cost of living, or, if on salary, because of pressure from their employers.

Public Release: 22-Jan-2015
Baylor University

Sound sleep in young and middle-aged people helps memory and learning, but as they hit their seventh, eighth and ninth decades, they don't sleep as much or as well -- and sleep is no longer linked so much to memory, a Baylor researcher says.

That raises an "alluring question" -- whether improving sleep early in life might delay, or even reverse, age-related changes in memory and thinking, said Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D., director of Baylor University's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory, who examined 50 years of sleep research for an article in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

"It's the difference between investing up front rather than trying to compensate later," said Scullin, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences. "We came across studies that showed that sleeping well in middle age predicted better mental functioning 28 years later."


"People sometimes disparage sleep as 'lost' time," he said. But even if the link between sleep and memory lessens with age, "sleeping well still is linked to better mental health, improved cardiovascular health and fewer, less severe disorders and diseases of many kinds."

No comments:

Post a Comment