Oversleeping linked to dementia

28th Feb 2017

New research from the US has shown that sleeping for more than 9 hours a night could be an early warning sign of dementia. Scientists believe the inability to get out of bed may be a symptom rather than a cause of the brain changes that lead to dementia. 

The study used self-reported sleep duration for more than 2000 participants with an average age of 72. The researchers found that those who consistently slept for more than 9 hours each night were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. They also found that the subjects without a high school degree who slept for longer increased their chances of developing dementia by six-fold. Overall, in the follow up study they found 234 cases of dementia over the 10 years. 

The results suggest that education lessened the effect of prolonged sleep on dementia. The researchers also stated that simply reducing the length of sleep is unlikely to reduce a person's risk of dementia due to this being a symptom rather than a cause.

To read the full article, visit Neurology journal.

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