Trouble falling asleep predicts cognitive impairment in later life

The study analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study, which involved 2,496 adults who were at least 51 years of age. In 2002 they reported the frequency of experiencing insomnia symptoms. In 2016 the participants’ cognition was assessed as part of the Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol and operationalized with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery tapping episodic memory, executive function, language, visuoconstruction, and processing speed. Analyses controlled for sociodemographics and baseline global cognitive performance.

“These results are important given the lack of currently available treatments for late-life cognitive disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” said Zaheed. “Sleep health and sleep behaviors are often modifiable. These results suggest that regular screening for insomnia symptoms may help with tracking and identifying people with trouble falling asleep in mid-to-late life who might be at risk for developing cognitive impairments later in life. Additional intervention research is needed to determine whether intervening on insomnia symptoms can help prevent or slow the progression of cognitive impairments in later life.”


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3 responses to “Trouble falling asleep predicts cognitive impairment in later life

  1. When I was working a demanding job I had a medical practitioner tell me my brain was remaining too active when I slept. The challenge was how to separate the stresses of a job from my general wellbeing. Not always easy figuring out how to do that.

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    • Thanks for sharing, Jasper. I think that is beyond my pay grade. But, you might have tried some relaxation before hitting the sack. Even some yoga. I still use yoga breathing to bring myself down at night and I have been out of the working world for two decades.


      • Now that I’m retired I’ve found some routines that have improved my sleep. Relaxation I always helpful. I’ve been doing what some call 4 Square Breathing. Side benefits have been increased lung capacity. That is an antidote to various respiratory type of health issues.

        Liked by 1 person

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