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A recent study found that sleeping more than nine hours increases the risk of dementia in your later years. According to Boston University Medical Centre researchers, sleeping for too long is a disservice to your brain.

Sleeping for over nine hours increases dementia risk

The researchers evaluated data from 2,457 subjects in the Framingham Heart Study, which is an established and on-going project. The average age of the participants was 72 years. Interestingly, over ten years, 10% of the subjects developed dementia, with 8% of the participants diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Around 4% of the participants reportedly said that they slept more than nine hours a night. Findings indicate that individuals that slept over nine hours per night double their risk of developing dementia compared to those that slept fewer hours. Participants that had been sleeping more than nine hours a night for 13 years previously didn’t have increased dementia risk.

Notably, the authors indicated that the increased dementia incidence among individuals that sleep for long correlates with low education level, such as less than a high school diploma. Interestingly, individuals that didn’t proceed beyond high school were more likely to develop dementia in ten years. Sudha Seshadri, the study co-author, indicated that the results show that high education could prevent dementia in cases of long sleeping hours.

Excessive sleeping is a sign of early dementia

The researchers pointed out that excessive sleeping could be a sign of early-stage memory loss or dementia. They provided that although self-reported sleep duration can be an important clinical tool for identifying the prediction of individuals at risk of clinical dementia, this could be a case of making the best out of one’s options. Therefore, for best overall outcomes, early dementia, and other diseases screening is necessary.

Most importantly, the findings are timely than ever since dementia incidence continues to grow and will in the coming years. Dementia is a broad term for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and by 2025 around 7.1 million Americans above 65 years will have Alzheimer’s.