Keep your brain sharp by finding your sleep 'sweet spot,' study says - CNN
Oct 20, 2021 1 min, 49 secs
Just like Baby Bear, older people who sleep "just right" -- getting roughly six to eight hours of quality shut-eye most nights -- appear to delay cognitive decline and keep their brains sharp, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Brain.

"Our study suggests that there is a middle range, or 'sweet spot,' for total sleep time where cognitive performance was stable over time," said study coauthor Dr.

David Holtzman, scientific director of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders at Washington University School of Medicine.

"It suggests that sleep quality may be key, as opposed to simply total sleep," he said in a statement.

Aim for continual, quality rest

Adults need to sleep at least seven hours a night, while school-age kids need nine to 12 hours and teens need eight to 10 hours, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since each cycle is roughly 90 minutes long, most people need seven to eight hours of relatively uninterrupted sleep to achieve this goal.

In stages one and two, the body starts to decrease its rhythms.

Studies have shown that missing REM sleep may lead to memory deficit and poor cognitive outcomes, as well as heart and other chronic diseases and an early death.

A chronic lack of sleep, therefore, impacts your ability to pay attention, learn new things, be creative, solve problems and make decisions.

Unfortunately, as people age they start to have trouble falling sleeping and staying asleep without interruption, which can dramatically impact deeper sleep and brain function.

A September 2021 study published in the journal JAMA Neurology found that elderly people who slept fewer than six hours a night had more beta amyloid in their brain than those who slept between seven and eight hours.

How to improve deep sleep

The good news is that you can train your brain to achieve better sleep, thus giving your body more time to spend in both REM and restorative deep sleep.

Going to bed and waking at the same times each day, including the weekends, is a top tip to get your brain on the road to better sleep, experts say.

Next, set up your sleep environment and establish a relaxing bedtime routine.

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