GETTING less than five hours’ sleep a night doubles older people’s risk of Alzheimer’s, a study says.
They are also twice as likely to suffer early death than those sleeping the recommended seven to eight hours.
Experts made the link after 2,610 over-65s were quizzed in 2013 and 2014 about how much kip they got, how long it took to nod off and how they rated its quality.
Information was then collected about dementia and death from any cause.
The body heals and repairs damages tissues during sleep – including the heart and blood vessels.
Previously, experts believed that Alzheimer’s led to sleep problems, rather than vice-versa.
Prof Charles Czeisler, of the Boston, US, study said: “The data adds to evidence sleep is important for brain health and highlights the need for further research.”
In the UK more than 850,000 people are living with dementia – a figure set to rise to two million by 2050 because of the ageing population.
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