Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Sleep Disorders

Get Email Updates

Sleep Disorders Guide

Alison Beaver

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Good Sleep is Important for Your Brain Health

By Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch HERWriter
 
Rate This
Good Sleep is Important for Your Brain Health 2 5 3
good sleep is important for the health of your brain
Image Source/Thinkstock

Getting a good night’s sleep is needed to maintain your health, but for many of us, it can be difficult.

MedlinePlus noted that 25 percent of people in the United States report having occasional sleeping problems. An additional 10 percent report having chronic sleep problems.

If you do not get a good night’s sleep, you may feel some of the effects the next morning, such as lower energy levels, irritability and fatigue.

Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Getting good sleep during those hours has an impact on certain cognitive functions.

For example, when we are sleeping, our brains go through a process called memory consolidation. During consolidation, information we have learned during the day becomes long-term memories.

Our quality of sleep can impact that process. Harvard Health Publications noted that individuals who slept after learning a task performed better in studies compared to individuals who did not sleep after learning.

As a result, not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on your brain health. But getting too much sleep can also have a negative impact.

HealthDay News reported that in a study using data from over 15,000 women, they found too little or too much sleep caused the participants’ brains to “age” by two years.

The women included were from the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study and were followed over 14 years starting when the women were middle-aged.

The researchers found that women who were not getting enough sleep (less than five hours a night) or were getting too much sleep (nine or more hours a night) performed worse on cognitive tests compared to women who slept seven hours a night.

This is not the only study that has found a connection between poor sleep and affected cognition. One such study was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, which included 298 women, who had an average age of 82 years.

At the beginning of the study, none of these women had dementia.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

This has given me a clearer side to how I sleep.. I can now motivate myself to going to sleep at certain times and then set my alarm for 8 hours later.. I also think that you should wake at the same time to to get your body into a rutine encouraging your body strength so automaticlly your body knows what time to get up and get started. I don't know about anybody else but even after a good night sleep I still feel drained, could anybody help explain why this is?

August 9, 2012 - 7:51am
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1890 Health

Changed

780 Lives

Saved

651 Lives
9 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do you keep electronics out of your bedroom to help you sleep?:
View Results