Poor Sleep Ages Your BrainPoor Sleep Ages Your Brain

Getting years of poor sleep can actually age your brain and slow its functioning. As always, more and more studies are revealing just how important it is to maintain a regular sleep pattern throughout your entire life. According to a recent study, poor quality sleep increases the risk of having impaired mental facilities by up to 50 percent, which is equivalent to a five-year increase in age. It was found that sleep quality is more important than quantity in determining brain aging. The study conducted by the California Pacific Medical Centre Research Institute in San Francisco followed the sleep patterns of sleep and cognitive decline. The study participants had their sleep patterns monitored over five nights. There is much research to be done concerning the exact mechanisms that link disturbed sleep to mental decline. It was found that a poor quality of sleep impacted planning, decision making, error correction, trouble shooting, and abstract thinking.

According to Dr. Safwan Badr, the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says “This study provides an important reminder that healthy sleep involves both the quantity and quality of sleep. As one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle, sleep is essential for optimal cognitive functioning.” The study only followed the participants for five days and five nights so there is room to conduct another more long-term study. Because of the results, it has been calculated that three years of poor sleep can equal five years of cognitive decline.

The research was conducted because of results that came about from another study revealing that going without sleep for only one night changes your brain similar to changes that occur after a blow to the head. Your brain uses sleep to clear out toxic substances and recharge. After years of poor sleep, your brain may not be able to restore itself.

Overall, people worldwide can benefit from this information by working toward better sleep. One of the people that conducted the study says, “The findings of our trial indicate a good night’s sleep may be critical for maintaining brain health.” If you are concerned about your sleep habits, schedule an appointment with FusionSleep to address your concerns. We will work with you to improve your sleep and therefore maintain or improve your cognitive functioning.