Getting the Perfect Amount of Sleep

Are you over 40 and curious about the ideal quantity of sleep every night? A recent study has found an answer.

It turns out that if you’re middle-aged or older, seven hours of sleep every night may be the perfect number for keeping your brain healthy. For cognitive (“thinking”) performance and mental wellness, seven hours of sleep every night was recommended.

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial at any age, but especially as we become older. Finding strategies to improve sleep for older individuals could be critical in helping them retain good mental health and well-being while also avoiding cognitive loss, especially for patients with psychiatric disorders and dementias, says the study.

For cognitive (“thinking”) performance and mental wellness, seven hours of sleep every night was recommended. On tests that measured processing speed, visual attention, memory, and problem-solving skills, participants who got too little or too much sleep performed poorly. They were also more likely to experience anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as a lower overall mental well-being.

The study also discovered a link between sleep duration and alterations in the structure of brain regions involved in cognitive processing and memory, with less or more than seven hours of sleep per night being associated with more abnormalities. The findings show that getting too little or too much sleep as people age may be a risk factor for mental deterioration.

Make sleep a priority in your routine to begin. This entails planning ahead for the hours you require so that work or social obligations do not conflict with sleep. While it may be tempting to cut sleep short in the moment, it does not pay off because sleep is necessary for mental and physical performance.

Improving your sleep hygiene, which includes your bedroom setting and sleep-related activities, is a tried and true method for getting more rest. Improvements in sleep hygiene include the following:

  • Stick to the sleep schedule and do not compromise.
  • Developing a soothing pre-bed routine could help you fall asleep faster.
  • Light and sound interruptions are minimized, and your bedroom’s temperature and scent are optimized.
  • Before going to bed, disconnect from electronic devices such as phones and laptops for at least a half-hour.
  • Caffeine and alcohol consumption should be carefully monitored and avoided in the hours leading up to bedtime.

Getting more sleep is important, but don’t forget that it’s not just about how much sleep you get. Quality sleep is also important, and it is easy to obtain the hours you require but not the quality you desire.

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