Sleep quality in midlife associated with cognitive health years later

A woman is shown sleeping.

According to a study in Neurology, researchers found that adults who had interrupted sleep in their 30s and 40s were more likely to perform worse on cognitive function tests a decade later. To conduct this study, the investigators assessed the sleep patterns of more than 500 adults between 2003-2005. Eleven years later, they conducted tests that evaluated a person’s memory, recall, perception, and ability to put things in order among other tasks. 

People with the highest proportion of sleep disturbances were more likely than those who had the least amount to show signs of cognitive decline. The investigators also found that sleep duration didn’t factor into these outcomes. Therefore, they note that sleep quality in early to midlife appears to have an important association with cognitive health later on. 

The research was funded by NHLBI.