A study conducted by a University of California freshman has revealed that people in their thirties and forties who experience sleep problems may be at risk for cognitive and information processing issues a decade later. The research found that those with interrupted sleep were more than twice as likely to perform poorly on cognitive tasks.
Assistant professor Yue Leng, who was not involved in the study, emphasized the importance of sleep for brain health. He pointed out that the signs of Alzheimer’s disease begin to accumulate in the brain several decades before symptoms appear, highlighting the need for adequate sleep to maintain cognitive health.
The new study published in the journal Neurology took into account both the duration and quality of participants’ sleep, as well as subsequent memory and thinking tasks. The results showed that those with interrupted sleep were indeed more likely to perform poorly on cognitive tasks a decade later. However, the amount of sleep and participants’ own sleep estimates were not related to information processing problems in middle age.
It is important to note that the researchers were unable to draw proper conclusions about differences between genders or ethnic groups due to the small number of subjects in the study. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between sleep and cognitive health in middle age.