Sleeping Better Now Helps Prevent Memory Loss When You're Old

By Jamie Condliffe on at

If you're one of those people who battles through all-nighters, parties hard only to rise early, or has plain old insomnia, I have some bad news for you. Scientists have shown that sleep deprivation in early adult life is linked to memory problems when you're old.

According to a report by Science Daily, the amount and quality of sleep you get at night may have a profound effect on your memory in later life. The research, carried out by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans in April.

The team of researchers has shown that disrupted sleep appears to be associated with the build-up of amyloid plaques — a hallmark indicator of Alzheimer's disease. Their study showed that people who spend less than 85 per cent of their time in bed actually sleeping, or those who wake up more than five times per hour, were significantly more likely to have the markers of early stage Alzheimer's disease. So, if you're not sleeping well at the moment, it might be a good idea to change it. [Science Daily]

Image credit: danielfoster437 from flickr