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Aging-Related Sleep Problems and Memory Loss

December 30, 2018

From the U.S. News & World Report website

Even in the short term, not getting enough sleep or poor quality zzz’s can keep people from performing at their mental best, whether it be more complex executive functioning or problem-solving or memory. The experience is universal – we’ve all had it: “We have a bad night’s sleep, we’re hazy in the morning, we may not be as sharp as we usually are,” says Michael V. Vitiello, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and geriatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We may have some lapses in memory or we don’t process information quite as well.”

What’s more, it’s well-known by researchers, clinicians and caregivers that dementia can cause sleep disturbances. But, increasingly, evidence indicates that there may also be a link between sleep problems, which are more common with age – particularly when those sleep issues are persistent or chronic – and an increased risk of developing the progressive brain disorder Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Having insomnia or sleep apnea – which inhibits a person’s ability to breathe normally while sleeping – are risk factors for developing dementia.

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From → Health & Safety

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