People with Symptoms of Insomnia are at Higher Risk of Cognitive Impairment, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021 - By SMI

People with Symptoms of Insomnia are at Higher Risk of Cognitive Impairment, Study Suggests

According to a new study led by the researchers of Penn State College of Medicine have reported that middle-aged adults who encounter symptoms of insomnia and are sleeping less than six hours a night are at higher risk of cognitive impairment and can develop dementia. Moreover, insomnia are characterized on certain factors such as difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or waking up too early and not able to get back to sleep. Researchers suggested that when these symptoms encountered by an individual for at least three nights a week and for at least three months, then it can be called as a chronic disorder.

Julio Fernandez-Mendoza from Penn State Health Sleep Research and Treatment Center, stated, “This study reinforces the need to objectively measure the sleep of adults who complain of insomnia. In previous research, the team found that adults with insomnia who obtained less than six hours of sleep were at risk for various cardiometabolic conditions. These new results demonstrate that these middle-aged adults also have an increased risk of cognitive impairment, which can be an early indicator of future dementia in a significant proportion of them.”

In this study, researchers evaluated data of randomly-selected, population-based sample of 1,741 adults who had one measured night of sleep in the lab. Before having their sleep measured participants provided details about their clinical history, and the participants also were evaluated for cognitive impairment before sleeping in the lab. Researchers observed that mid-aged adults who reported insomnia and had less than six hours of sleep in the laboratory were two folds more likely to develop cognitive impairment, in comparison to people with the same insomnia but had over six hours of sleep in the lab. Moreover, the participants who reported about insomnia but slept over six hours in the lab did not exhibit any risk of cognitive impairment.

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