Middle aged individuals can get away with this minimal amount of sleep

Middle aged individuals can get away

A proven amount of sleep that middle-aged individuals can get without causing too much trouble

As much as I love to sleep, I never get enough. During the last couple of hours before crawling into bed, I promised myself that I would go to bed earlier this time. And as quickly as that decision is made, breaking it every single time is usually the reality! I manage to tell myself the following;

  • I’ll read just a couple more pages in this chapter.
  • I’ll finish editing this story
  • I’ll spend planning my week/day ahead
  • I’ll have a quick look at social
  • I’ll go through my workload for the week
  • I’ll fill in my dairy

And so on; by the time I look at the clock again, one hour or more has passed. I did it again for the past couple of months, saying that the early morning starts to get to the gym would be fine. I can take it. This cycle begins again over and over, day in and day out. But unfortunately, as we age, sleep disturbances (and lack of sleep) can contribute to cognitive decline and psychiatric disorders in the ageing population. In research published in Nature Ageing, scientists from the UK and China analysed the data collected from nearly 500k adults between the ages of 35-and 73 from the UK. Participants were questioned about their sleeping patterns, mental health and well-being and underwent cognitive tests. The team found that insufficient and excessive sleep duration was associated with impaired cognitive performance, such as processing speed, visual attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Seven hours of deeper sleep per night seemed optimal for cognitive performance and good mental health, especially for those who experience anxiety, depression, and overall well-being if they reported sleeping for longer or shorter durations. One possible reason for the association between insufficient sleep and cognitive decline may be the disruption between slow-wave ‘deep’ sleep. Disruption can lead to memory consolidation and a build-up of Amyloid that causes tangles characteristic of dementia. Lack of sleep also stops the necessary toxin from eliminating what’s needed for optimal brain functioning. Those seven hours of good, undisturbed sleep also help cognitive performance and good mental health and well-being. Previous studies indicate that interrupted sleep patterns are associated with increased inflammation, making you more likely to age susceptibly related diseases. Researchers pointed out that the findings suggest that lack of sleep or too much of it can develop Alzheimer’s or dementia, in which cognitive decline is ahallmark symptom. Now I’m just a tad bit scared!

Key take away

Getting a good night’s sleep as much as possible is essential. Sleep helps us maintain good mental health and well-being. It will also allow us to avoid cognitive decline later on in life. I promised myself that I would go to bed 30 minutes earlier, and then I would slowly increase it during May. I see this as a great challenge for me — and anyone else who would like to participate. As my 30-day probiotic challenge ends, the sleep challenge will begin! Do the research and findings give you enough evidence to suggest that you should close your laptop or phone and get a better night’s sleep? I think so.

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