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Your insomnia is making you stupid

... if you've reached middle age, at least. A new study from the University College London Medical School found that those who usually get six to eight hours of sleep per night score lower on almost every test measuring cognitive function if they get less sleep once hitting middle age.

Of course, the human brain naturally loses some of its cognitive ability as it ages, but this study found that a change in sleep patterns can speed up cognitive decline.

Perhaps even more interesting, the study found that cognitive decline was even worse in those who started to get more sleep - those who slept more than eight hours after hitting middle age fared the worst in the cognitive function tests.

For the purposes of this study, you're considered to have reached middle age after your 45th birthday. The study included both men and women.

So what can we take away from this study? Well, we're reminded of just how important sleep is. We are also seeing a suggestion that sleep quality is far more important than sleep duration.

For the full details of this study, hit the source link below.

Source: Montreal Gazette

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Last updated: July 18, 2011

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • Jen W
    July 25, 2011, 4:51 pm

    In this study it is suggested that women and men who begin sleeping more or less than 6 to 8 hours a night are more likely to speed up cognitive decline that’s equal to four to seven years of aging. Men who slept less then 6 hours saw a decline in cognitive test scores.

    http://www.dailyrx.com/news-article/too-much-or-too-little-sleep-can-lower-brain-function-and-speed-aging-13471.html

    Reply
  • A. Marina Fournier
    July 19, 2011, 1:00 am

    Depression, treated or not, can lower your cognitive function also. I think the article I read ages ago said at least 10 points of your IQ could drop off–and with some meds, even more.

    I think the cognitive interruption many women experience during (peri)menopause gets back almost to the fertile-time levels after a few years. A lot of it is verbal–not being able to hang on to, or catch, the word you were just about to use. I get around that by thinking of synonyms/similar attributes, and eventually the brain releases the word I sought.

    Reply