Thursday December 12, 2019

Good Sleep, Mood Can Help You Stay Sharp in Old Age, Suggests New Research

These findings could lead to future interventions and treatments to counteract the negative impacts of these factors on working memory

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sleeping, impairment, inflammation, SLeep
Don't consume caffeinated drinks less than six hours before you go to sleep. Pixabay

Memory slips with age, but getting a fair amount of sleep every night and having a cheerful mood each day may help you stay sharp even when you grow old, suggests new research.

Poor sleep quality and a depressed mood are linked to a reduced likelihood of remembering a previously experienced event, said the study published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

The researchers found strong associations between working memory and three health-related factors such as sleep, age and depressed mood.

Working memory is the part of short-term memory that temporarily stores and manages information required for cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning and comprehension.

Working memory is critically involved in many higher cognitive functions, including intelligence, creative problem-solving, language and action-planning. It plays a major role in how we process, use and remember information.

The study found that age is negatively related to the “qualitative” aspect of working memory — that is, how strong or how accurate the memory is.

“Other researchers have already linked each of these factors separately to overall working memory function, but our work looked at how these factors are associated with memory quality and quantity – the first time this has been done,” said Weiwei Zhang, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Riverside in the US.

Sleep deprivation can hurt performance and health. Wikimedia commons

“All three factors are interrelated. For example, seniors are more likely to experience negative mood than younger adults. Poor sleep quality is also often associated with depressed mood”, Zhang added.

The researchers performed two studies. In the first study, they sampled 110 college students for self-reported measures of sleep quality and depressed mood and their independent relationship to experimental measures of working memory.

In the second study, the researchers sampled 31 members of a community ranging in age from 21 to 77 years. In this study, the researchers investigated age and its relationship to working memory.

The researchers are the first to statistically isolate the effects of the three factors on working memory quantity and quality.

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Although all three factors contribute to a common complaint about foggy memory, they seem to behave in different ways and may result from potentially independent mechanisms in the brain.

These findings could lead to future interventions and treatments to counteract the negative impacts of these factors on working memory. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s why you Should Not Sleep more than 9 Hours

Over 9 hours' of sleep may raise stroke risk by 23%

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You should sleep for 6-8 hours to be healthy. Lifetime Stock

People who sleep nine or more hours per night are 23 per cent more likely to later have a stroke than people who sleep seven to less than eight hours per night, warns a new study.

The results revealed that long naps are also not good for your health.

People who took a regular midday nap lasting more than 90 minutes were 25 per cent more likely to later have a stroke than people who took a regular nap lasting from one to 30 minutes, said the study published online in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

People who took no naps or took naps lasting from 31 minutes to one hour were no more likely to have a stroke than people who took naps lasting from one to 30 minutes.

Nap sleep
A midday nap shouldn’t last more than 90 minutes. Lifetime Stock

“More research is needed to understand how taking long naps and sleeping longer hours at night may be tied to an increased risk of stroke, but previous studies have shown that long nappers and sleepers have unfavourable changes in their cholesterol levels and increased waist circumferences, both of which are risk factors for stroke,” said study author Xiaomin Zhang of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China.

“In addition, long napping and sleeping may suggest an overall inactive lifestyle, which is also related to increased risk of stroke,” Zhang said.

The study involved 31,750 people in China with an average age of 62. The people did not have any history of stroke or other major health problems at the start of the study.

They were followed for an average of six years. During that time, there were 1,557 stroke cases.

The people were asked questions about their sleep and napping habits.

Also Read- Alzheimer’s Drugs Improve Memory and Slow The Ageing Process

People who were both long nappers and long sleepers were 85 per cent more likely to later have a stroke than people who were moderate sleepers and nappers, said the study.

“These results highlight the importance of moderate napping and sleeping duration and maintaining good sleep quality, especially in middle-age and older adults,” Zhang said. (IANS)