Seniors Are Losing Sleep — and Memory

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 29 January 2013

Cognitive function suffers as a result of sleep deprivation, particularly among seniors. Read more about a new study's results in this post.A good night’s sleep may be hard to come by, but if you don’t get enough Zzzzs, you’re risking more than your physical health. Cognitive function suffers as a result of sleep deprivation, says this new Huff/Post50 article, particularly among seniors.

Problems with memory loss may be common in old age, but there are a number of ways to prevent it — one of them being adequate rest for the brain and body. The Huff/Post50 article explains “the connection between poor sleep and memory storage,” as uncovered by a recent University of California-Berkeley study.

It’s more about quality than quantity though, said one of the study’s researchers in the article. The deterioration in the quality of seniors’ sleep (generally, older adults have a more difficult time falling asleep and/or staying asleep) is what keeps “memories from being saved by the brain at night.”

Several suggestions for improving your sleep patterns are offered in the article. Exercise and less caffeine are the obvious ones, but an important tip for people of all ages  in need of better sleep — from seniors at home or in assisted living to their grandchildren and adult children — is this: unplug. Turn off the TV, the cell phone, the iPad, the laptop. Disconnect your gadgets so that your brain’s addiction to instant information will also be starved and your memory renewed and preserved.

Your turn: What are your good night’s sleep tips?



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