Lack of Sleep Could Be Shrinking Your Brain

Lack of Sleep Could Be Shrinking Your Brain

The amount of sleep you get could be affecting how your brain volume decreases as you get older, a new study shows.

Researchers have found that having difficulty or a lack sleeping is linked to an accelerated decline in brain volume over a period of three to five years, according to a study published in the journal Neurology.

Participants of the study included 147 adults between 20 and 84 years old who all underwent two MRI brain scans about three and a half years apart, as well as taking a survey questioning them about their sleep quality.

The results showed that 35% percent of the participants had poor sleep quality, based on factors such as how long it takes to fall asleep or the use of a sleeping pill.  It was found that the brain scans of the participants with poor sleep quality showed a more rapid decrease in parts of the brain including the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes.

The frontal lobe is the area of the brain concerned with motor skills, body movement and cognition while the temporal lobe deals with sounds, speech and language as well as memory. The parietal lobe processes senses as well as such things as pressure and pain.

About 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems, which can include sleep apnea, bruxism and restless legs syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Source: Neurology; CDC

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