Sleep is a good indicator of our overall health and well-being. Seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended to feel truly rested, but oversleeping on a regular basis could signal problems with our brain health. A study published in Neurology found people who consistently sleep more than nine hours a night are more likely to develop dementia accompanied by smaller brain volume, and poor executive function.
“Participants without a high school degree who sleep for more than 9 hours each night had six times the risk of developing dementia in 10 years as compared to participants who slept for less,” said Dr. Sudha Seshadri, corresponding study author, and professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine Alzheimer’s Disease Center (BUSM) and Framingham Heart Study (FSH) senior investigator, in a statement.
I – Word Understanding
Neurology – branch of medicine dealing with the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves)
Executive function (brain) – mental skills that let us get things done (manage time, pay attention, avoid saying or doing the wrong thing)
Dementia – decline in mental ability (memory loss, personality change, impaired reasoning)
II – Have Your Say
1. Dementia in Japan:
a. National Police Agency reports more than 12,000 patients going missing in 2015, with hundreds of those later found dead
b. The disorder affects 4.6 million people in Japan, with the number forecast to rise to 7 million – or one in five people aged 65 or over – by 2025.
c. An estimated 100,000 people leave their jobs every year to look after elderly relatives, including those who suffer from dementia
2. In addition to prolonged sleep, there are two other surprising things linked to the onset of dementia that we should monitor carefully.
a. Loneliness: Spending too much time by yourself may trigger the onset of dementia.
b. Air Pollution: Living near a highway or a highly populated urban area can increase the likelihood of developing dementia for older women.