Investing in Sleep While You're Young Helps Cognition in Old Age

Americans aren't getting enough sleep for a multitude of reasons. But a new study shows that we should really be making time for sleep during our younger and middle-age years if we want to retain our minds as we get older.

Americans don't get enough sleep for many reasons that range from tablet use before bed to working long hours at a job. But a new study shows that we should really be making time for sleep during our younger and middle-age years if we want to retain our minds as we get older.


Erin Blakemore from the Smithsonian wrote on the study that was led by Michael K. Scullin, a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University, who poured over 50 years of sleep-related research with the help of a team of scientists. The research was published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, which includes data from 200 separate studies that date as far back as 1967.

This data provided Scullin and his team evidence that showed there's a close link to cognition and the amount of sleep older participants got in their youth and middling years. The team wrote in their assessment:

“We interpret the literature as suggesting that maintaining good sleep quality, at least in young adulthood and middle age, promotes better cognitive functioning and serves to protect against age-related cognitive declines.”

Younger folks often correlate sleep with time better spent studying or going out--the usual saying, “I'll sleep when I'm dead,” comes to mind. But Scullin's data shows that this thought could lead to poor memory recall later on in life. He stated in a press release:

“People sometimes disparage sleep as ‘lost’ time. Sleeping well still is linked to better mental health, improved cardiovascular health and fewer, less severe disorders and diseases of many kinds.” 

Read more at Smithsonian 

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn/ Flickr

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

Physicists puzzled by strange numbers that could explain reality

Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.

Surprising Science
  • Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
  • The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
  • Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less