Cognitive Performance Of Aging Improves With Sleep Quality And Duration

By on June 17, 2014

According to new study, middle aged or elderly people who have 6 to 9 of sleep during night think better than people who sleep for few or more hours.

This study was done by University of Oregon, and lead author of this study is Theresa E. Gildne, who is a doctoral student in the University of Oregon’s anthropology department.

Sleep Quality And Duration - Cognitive PerformanceThis study was started as a long term project in 2007 by compiling data from six middle-income nations, and also involved more than 30,000 subjects. This study was published in June edition of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Theresa E. Gildner, the lead said research was conducted to look at issues of aging, particularly the issues related to dementia and decreasing cognitive performance with increasing age, and the importance of sleep.

And the results of the study showed that sleep plays a crucial role. She also said even though data compiled was from people of 6 different countries, which were culturally, economically, and environmentally different, similar patterns are emerging.

The study was based on first wave of data from a continuing long-term project, which focused on people with 50 years and above age from China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation and South Africa.

The key features of the finding are that higher sleep quality was reported in men than women in all these six countries, and with highest sleep quality reported in Mexican men and women.

Another key feature is that higher sleep duration was reported women than men in all these countries except in Russian Federation and Mexico. And with highest sleep duration both men and women was reported in South Africa, and least sleep duration was reported in both Indian men and women.

Another key feature of the findings is that people who slept for 6 to 9 hours in night reported higher cognitive scores, when compared to people who slept for less than 6 hours and more than 9 hours during night.

For this study, the participants were interviewed by train native speakers from their respective countries. Information regarding quality of sleep based on five-point scale, and sleep duration of previous two nights was taken and averaged. After that, five standard cognitive tests were taken by the participants.

The findings of the study conclude to have important implications for future interventions related to dementia. The consistent association between intermediate sleep durations (6 to 9hrs of sleep), high quality of sleep, and improved cognitive performance in the participants of all six countries suggests that cognitive decline, which is observed in elderly can be improved with better sleep patterns.

Theresa E. Gildner said that there is another important finding of this study. There is a gender difference with regards to sleep and cognitive variables. She said that by citing previous studies, sleep patterns in women reflects postmenopausal changes, increased bladder instability and feelings of isolation after the loss of a spouse or lack of social support.

When it comes to cognitive score of women, their sleep difficulties and or education levels that were low showed its impact.

The database for this long-term project is collected by Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE). J. Josh Snodgrass is the key investigator of SAGE, and is a professor of anthropology at the University of Oregon.

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