Sleeping Too Much Can Be Damaging For Mental Health, New Study Suggests

By Cyril , Mar 06, 2017 12:06 AM EST

Long before, sleep has been regarded as a good indicator of a person's overall health and well-being condition.That said, a good sleep has also been recommended to feel truly rested, but, on the contrary, oversleeping on a regular basis could most likely signal certain problems in terms of our brain's health. In a recently conducted study, the findings suggest that people who consistently sleep for more than nine hours a night are more likely prone to developing dementia that is accompanied by smaller brain volume and poor executive function.

Excessive Sleeping Linked To Dementia

In one of his statements reported by Newsweek, Dr. Sudha Seshadri, the study's corresponding author, and professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine Alzheimer's Disease Center (BUSM) and Framingham Heart Study (FSH) senior investigator has revealed that in conducting their study, participants without a high school degree who usually sleep for more than 9 hours each night was found to be six times the risk of developing dementia in 10 years as compared to participants who slept for less. Researchers said that these results obtained from the study suggest that being highly educated may protect against dementia in the presence of long sleep duration. However, apart from excessive sleeping, previous studies conducted suggests that too little sleep is also linked to dementia since missing out on deep non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep may allow certain proteins that are linked to dementia to have an easier access to the brain.

Furthermore, according to The Express Tribune, another investigator at FHS and a co-corresponding author Dr. Matthew Pase, PhD, who also happens to be a fellow in the department of neurology at BUSM has claimed that self-reported sleep duration may be a useful clinical tool in predicting who are the persons that are prone to progressing clinical dementia within 10 years. Dr. Pase continues to explain that those persons who are said to be reporting long sleep duration may warrant assessment and monitoring for problems with thinking and memory. Additionally, experts have also found that education levels can affect the likelihood of developing dementia since studies focused on dementia have consistently showed the more time spent in education, the lower the risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease.

Study Proposition

Meanwhile, Seshadri together with her colleagues at Boston University School of Medicine Alzheimer's Disease Center have provided further proof that longer sleep duration may be a marker of early neurodegeneration. The research suggests that early detection of sleep troubles may help diagnosis of cognitive impairment and dementia; which can allegedly help in preparing for a life with dementia. Ultimately, despite the findings obtained, researchers have highly emphasized that health practitioners may still be prompted to do further dementia screening for elderly patients who have reported excessive sleep and cognitive complaints.


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