Navigation Links
Poor Quality Sleep May Be Linked to Shrinking Brain
Date:9/3/2014

By
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Not getting a good night's sleep might be linked to shrinkage of the brain's gray matter over time, new research suggests.

Faster deterioration of three parts of the brain was seen in mostly older adults who had poor sleep quality, though not necessarily too little sleep. Sleep difficulties included having trouble falling asleep, waking up during the night or waking up too early.

However, it isn't clear whether poor sleep causes the changes in the brain, whether a shrinking brain causes poor sleep, or whether a bit of both is occurring.

"We spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, and sleep has been proposed to be 'the brain's housekeeper,' serving to restore and repair the brain," said lead researcher Claire Sexton, a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Oxford in England.

"It follows that if sleep is disrupted, then processes that help restore and repair the brain are interrupted and may be less effective, leading to greater rates of decline in brain volume," she explained.

But it's just as likely, she said, that the deterioration in the brain also contributes to difficulty sleeping.

"It may be that greater rates of decline in brain volumes make it more difficult for a person to get a good night's sleep," said Sexton, adding she suspects the problems run in both directions.

While a visiting research fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway, Sexton and her fellow researchers gave brain scans to 147 Norwegian adults, average age 54, at the study's start and an average of 3.5 years later.

At the time of the second scan, the adults also filled out questionnaires about their sleep quality, including how long and how well they slept, how long it took to fall asleep, how much time in bed was spent actually asleep, how often they woke up, how sleepy they were during the day and whether they used sleeping medications. Participants took an average of 20 minutes to fall asleep and slept an average of seven hours a night, the researchers found.

After making adjustments for differences in the participants' physical activity, weight and blood pressure -- which have been shown to affect sleep quality -- the researchers compared changes in participants' brain scans and reported their findings online Sept. 3 in Neurology.

In those with poor sleep quality, the researchers saw shrinkage in one part of their frontal cortex and some atrophy, or deterioration, throughout three other parts of the brain, including parts involved with reasoning, planning, memory and problem-solving.

The study didn't test participants' thinking skills, so it couldn't prove that poor sleep or brain shrinkage was linked to poor memory or difficulty thinking. However, past research has found links between declining memory and decreases in brain volume.

"We often correlate brain shrinkage with losing brain tissue, and assume that that isn't advantageous as you get older," said Anton Porsteinsson, director of Alzheimer's disease care, research and education at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York.

"Sleep disturbance is such a common symptom among the general population, and it often becomes worse as you age," he said. "There is growing data to suggest that sleep disturbance may be a risk factor for poor outcomes in terms of brain cells and other medical issues as well."

The correlation was only with poor quality of sleep, not shorter sleep. The reduced brain size in poor sleepers was seen across all ages, but the correlation was stronger among adults over 60, the study found.

"What this study signals to me is that [good bedtime habits] and good sleep matters," Porsteinsson said. "Whether that has to be natural sleep or whether we can use medications to enhance sleep has not been answered, but it's probably best to improve your natural sleep patterns."

Sexton made several suggestions for those hoping for better sleep. Besides talking to a doctor about sleep problems, she recommended having a bedtime routine and going to bed at the same time each night.

Other tips include removing gadgets such as smartphones and tablets from the bedroom, not checking emails right before sleep, being physically active during the day, avoiding caffeine late in the day and spending time outside in the sunlight each day.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about improving your sleep.

SOURCES: Claire Sexton, D.Phil., postdoctoral research assistant, FMRIB (Functional MRI of the Brain), University of Oxford, England, and formerly visiting research fellow, University of Oslo, Norway; Anton Porsteinsson, M.D., professor, psychiatry, and director, Alzheimer's Disease Care, Research and Education Program, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, N.Y.; Sept. 9, 2014, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. InventHelp® Client Develops System that Controls Air Quality (BRK-764)
2. Quality of U.S. Diet Improves, Slightly
3. High Quality 1997-2006 JEEP Wrangler TJ Leather Seat Covers From Popular Supplier Lseat.com
4. High Quality Bamboo Veneers from Bambooindustry.com Receive International Attention
5. Discounted, High Quality Bamboo Floorings Provided Online By BambooIndustry.com
6. High Quality Corset Bridesmaid Dresses Now at UWDress.com
7. CWRUs new MOOC teaches about making changes to improve quality and safety of patient care
8. High Quality Backless Wedding Dresses Now From iFitDress.com
9. My Writers: Review Exposes Online Source for Quality Marketing Content
10. Laser device may end pin pricks, improve quality of life for diabetics
11. High Quality Canada Goose Solaris Parkas For Sale At CanadaGooseJackor.nu
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Poor Quality Sleep May Be Linked to Shrinking Brain
(Date:12/9/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... "I ... Fla. "I used this old family recipe, which is meant to relieve gout and ... it gave me a 12-hour energy boost every time. It relieved what VA doctors ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The Holy ... in New York, NY, on December 3rd, to benefit Holy Name Medical Center's ... annual event, which raised over $1 million - the largest event in the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The Florida Hospital ... and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the leading authority in hyperbaric medicine. This accreditation ... a few hospitals and facilities have earned this distinction. This is the second ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Mirixa Corporation ... adherence, and other pharmacist-delivered patient care services, has announced the promotions of Karen ... to vice president of sales. , Litsinger joined Mirixa in 2008 after ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... SunView ... customers and employees that are both engaging and easy to use. Coming off ... the software company revealed today its plans to roll out new AI-powered self-service ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... Fla. , Dec. 9, 2016  Harmar Mobility, LLC announced ... and a member of the Board of Directors. Photo ... ... Mr. Dawson,s ... development of organizations across a variety of industries. He brings to ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. ... global travel vaccines market to grow at a CAGR of 6.83% ... scenario and the growth prospects of the global travel vaccines market ... revenue generated from the sales of various vaccines administered to actively ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- IRIDEX Corporation (NASDAQ: IRIX ) today announced ... stock, $0.01 par value (the "Offering" with such shares being ... terms of the Offering will depend on market and other ... no assurance as to whether or when the Offering may ... proceeds it will receive from this offering for working capital ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: