The nighttime habit that ages your brain

Every night, millions of people are indulging a bad habit that ages the brain and increases their Alzheimer’s risk. If you value your memory, avoid this pattern.

According to research in Singapore, staying up too late and getting too little sleep can derail your mental capacities. When the researchers performed structural MRI brain scans on people who got less than seven hours of sleep per night, they found their brains experienced faster brain ventricle enlargement. That is a sign of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

“Our findings relate short sleep to a marker of brain aging,” says researcher June Lo.

According to Michael Chee, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke-NUS in Singapore, “Work done elsewhere suggests that seven hours a day for adults seems to be the sweet spot for optimal performance on computer based cognitive tests.”

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.