(WXYZ) — Researchers have discovered the perfect amount of sleep for middle-aged people. Getting more or less per night could impact mental health and well-being.
The ideal amount of sleep is seven hours for adults who are in the middle to older age range. That’s according to a study of nearly 500,000 adults between the ages of 38 and 73.
Now, I’ve always said that sleep is brain food, so I’m not surprised this study found that too much or too little can impact your health and worsen your overall well-being.
What exactly did the researchers discover? Well, they found that poorer cognitive performance and mental health were linked to getting more or less than seven hours of sleep per night.
For instance, more symptoms of anxiety and depression were reported. Impaired memory and problem-solving skills were also linked to insufficient and excessive sleep.
Deep sleep has been found to be really important for memory consolidation. One possible reason behind insufficient sleep and cognitive decline could be due to disruption of deep sleep. Also, lack of deep sleep might interfere with the brain’s ability to get rid of toxins or waste products.
The study also found that the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, was really affected by sleep. Too much or too little sleep was linked to smaller brain volume.
So, what can you do if you’re not sleeping well? Here are my Dr. Partha Nandi’s prescriptions:
- Create a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes in the evening. All of these can disrupt your sleep.
- Wind down at least an hour before bed. A quiet, cool and dark bedroom is best for sleeping.
- Get some movement with purpose in your life. Regular exercise can certainly help you sleep better.