New Study Links Lack of Sleep to Increased Dementia Risk

UNITED KINGDOM, April 22, 2021 ~ Sleeping six hours or less a day can lead to a higher risk of dementia, according to a study published in Nature Communications on Tuesday.

The study followed almost 8,000 people for 25 years, and found that those with a “sleep duration of six hours or less at age 50 and 60” had an increased risk of dementia over those who slept seven or more hours.  Additionally, persistent short sleep between 50 and 70 was linked to a “30% increased dementia risk,” independent of “sociodemographic, behavioural, cardiometabolic, and mental health factors,” according to the study.


April 22, 2021 ~ Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital Dr. James Rowley talks to Paul W. about a new sleep study on the importance of sleep for good health.

April 21, 2021 ~ Neurologist and Sleep Specialist for Beaumont Health Dr. Gary Trock talks with Guy Gordon about a study that connects lack of sleep and dementia.

However, some experts are skeptical, due to the fact that people with Alzheimer’s and dementia often suffer sleep issues.

What’s the message for us all? Evidence of sleep disturbance can occur a long time before the onset of other clinical evidence of dementia,” said Tom Dening of the Centre for Dementia at the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham, who was not involved in the study.

However, this study cannot establish cause and effect.” Dening continued.  “Maybe it is simply a very early sign of the dementia that is to come, but it’s also quite likely that poor sleep is not good for the brain and leaves it vulnerable to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.”