New research conducted in Spain says regular and plentiful sleep combined with reading make for a healthier mind as we get older.
The study, conducted at CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Valencia, Spain, analyzed the lifestyles of 245 seniors aged 65 and older. They wanted to see if there was a pattern among those who experienced cognitive decline, and they found one. The subjects who slept either too much or too little and abstained from brain-stimulating activities like reading were at increased risk of developing cognitive impairment.
Seniors who slept more than eight hours or less than six, were more than two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment compared to those who got six to eight hours a night. Meanwhile, those who admitted to not reading were 3.7 times at increased risk, while those who said they read only occasionally increased their risk by 2.5 times.
Researchers point out that age-related cognitive decline affects 35.6 million people worldwide. According to the World Alzheimer Report, that figure is expected to spike to 100 million cases in 2050.
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