This is critically important. So let me put it as clearly as I possibly can. If you don’t take your sleep seriously, you could end up losing your mind or your life.
That’s not an exaggeration.
We’ve long known that plenty of good quality sleep is essential for good health. But a shocking new study serves as a stark reminder of just HOW vital sleep really is.
In no uncertain terms, researchers warn that if you’re an older adult skipping out on sleep could send your dementia risk soaring. Even worse, it could drive you into an early grave.
In other words, it’s time to buckle down and get SERIOUS about your shuteye. And I have some hints that could help you do just that.
I’ll share those with you in just a moment, but first, let’s take a closer look at that disturbing study.
Dementia risk SOARS with too little shuteye
A team of researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital set out to discover if there was a link between lack of sleep and specific health issues affecting older adults. And boy howdy was there ever.
They took a deep dive into the data from 2,610 folks over 65 who had answered detailed sleep questionnaires as part of the National Health and Aging Trends Study.
Participants were asked a variety of sleep-related questions, including…
- nap frequency
- how long it usually takes to fall asleep
- sleep duration
- sleep quality
The team also gathered details on the volunteer’s state of health, including their dementia status, for up to five years after they’d taken the survey. And it quickly became clear that the folks who were poor sleepers had poor outcomes.
In fact, dementia risk DOUBLED among participants getting under five hours of sleep a night compared to those who were sleeping for seven or eight. And as disturbing as that finding was, it got worse.
The team found that insufficient sleep was also linked to overall death risk. In other words, chronic sleep problems could literally shorten your life.
Researchers uncovered other clues in the data that could help serve as early warning signs.
For example, folks who regularly took 30 minutes or more to slip off to sleep had a 45 percent greater risk for developing dementia. Plus, participants who reported poor sleep quality, frequent napping, trouble staying alert during the day, or sleeping five hours or less a night had an increased risk of death over the four or five years following the survey.
Hit the hay using the Sleep Cave Method
And if any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to do something about it. If you’re a night owl or tend to burn the candle at both ends, you need to commit to making some changes. You can start by simply adjusting your bedtime so you CAN rack up seven to eight hours of undisturbed sleep a night.
To help with that, I recommend what I call the Sleep Cave Method. The goal is to transform your bedroom into an oasis designed for slumber.
- If light from the street at night or the sun in the morning is a problem, invest in blackout curtains.
- Ditch any electronics with indicator lights or that make noise that could disturb your sleep.
- Ban computers and smartphones and stop using them at least one hour before hitting the hay.
- And keep the room on the slightly cooler side, which experts say is optimal for sleeping.
Next up, consider a melatonin supplement. Often referred to as the “sleep hormone,” melatonin prepares our bodies to sleep. The trouble is we tend to produce less of it as we age. Many folks over 50 find that a supplement can help them fall asleep faster and get more restful sleep.
If you find you’re still having trouble getting in your seven to eight hours of dementia fighting slumber a night, other stress-reducing and sleep-supporting supplements such as ashwagandha, valerian, or chamomile could do the trick. And click here to discover how seafood could help you catch some zzzs too.
The bottom line is your MIND, and your LIFE might depend on you getting a good night’s sleep. So let’s be sure you get the rest you need starting tonight.
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