Sleep­ing too much can af­fect your men­tal skills

Gulf Times Community - - BODY & MIND -

While lack of proper sleep has been known to af­fect health, a new study has showed that peo­ple who sleep less or more than an aver­age of seven to eight hours per night are more likely to de­velop im­pair­ments in their men­tal skills.

The find­ings showed that sleep af­fected all adults equally. The amount of sleep as­so­ci­ated with highly func­tional cog­ni­tive be­hav­iour was the same for ev­ery­one (seven to eight hours), re­gard­less of age.

Also, the im­pair­ment as­so­ci­ated with too lit­tle or too much sleep did not de­pend on the age of the par­tic­i­pants, the re­searchers said.

“We found that the op­ti­mum amount of sleep to keep your brain per­form­ing its best is seven to eight hours ev­ery night and that cor­re­sponds to what the doc­tors will tell you need to keep your body in tip­top shape, as well,” said lead au­thor Conor Wild, Re­search As­so­ciate at the Univer­sity of Western On­tario in Canada.

“We also found that peo­ple that slept more than that amount were equally im­paired as those who slept too lit­tle,” Wild added.

For the study, pub­lished in the jour­nal SLEEP, the team ex­am­ined more than 40,000 par­tic­i­pants. Nearly half of all par­tic­i­pants re­ported typ­i­cally sleep­ing less than 6.3 hours per night, about an hour less than the study’s rec­om­mended amount.

Most par­tic­i­pants who slept four hours or less per­formed as if they were al­most nine years older.

Im­por­tantly, the par­tic­i­pants’ rea­son­ing and ver­bal abil­i­ties were two of the ac­tions most strongly af­fected by sleep while short-term mem­ory per­for­mance was rel­a­tively un­af­fected. On the other hand, even a sin­gle night’s sleep can af­fect a per­son’s abil­ity to think. Par­tic­i­pants who slept more than usual the night be­fore par­tic­i­pat­ing in the study per­formed bet­ter than those who slept their usual amount or less, the re­searchers said.– IANS

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