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Sleep quality and duration improve cognition in aging populations
Date:6/16/2014

iate group.

Trained native speakers in each country interviewed the participants, who rated their sleep quality on a five-point scale and the number of hours they'd slept over the two previous nights. That information was averaged. Participants then went through five standard cognitive tests involving immediate recall of a list of presented words, delayed recall of those words later, forward and backward recall of long lists of numbers, and a verbal fluency test in which they listed as many animals as possible without repetition, the use of proper nouns or descriptors.

The study concludes that the findings have important implications for future intervention strategies for dementia. The consistent associations between intermediate sleep durations, high sleep quality and enhanced cognitive performance in these diverse populations suggests that improving sleep patterns may help reduce the level of cognitive decline as seen in older adults.

Another important finding, Gildner said, is the gender difference in all sleep and cognition variables. Citing previous studies, the authors hypothesized that women's sleep patterns reflect postmenopausal changes, increased bladder instability and feelings of isolation after the loss of a spouse or lack of social support. Cognition scores of women may result from their sleep difficulties and/or lower educational levels.

The growing database in the long-term study, known as the Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE), is allowing researchers to mine many combinations of variables connected to health and lifestyle, said J. Josh Snodgrass, professor of anthropology at the UO. "It also will allow anthropologists to explore cultural factors that may contribute to sleeping and health patterns."

Snodgrass is a key investigator on SAGE, which is funded by a joint agreement of the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization.

"This study is hugely powerful an
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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

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