How much sleep do you need to avoid cognitive decline?

Let’s face it, sleeping is one of life’s great joys. However, the stress and anxiety of everyday life can cause us different ailments. One of them could be hypersomnia or insomnia, which can have serious consequences by affecting our mood, increasing the risk of heart diseases, among others or affecting our skills / intelligence and taking us to hit rock bottom, perhaps, as what the character of Christian Bale experiences in the film The Machinist (2004). On the subject, then the question comes: How much sleep do we need to avoid cognitive decline?

The answer is a study conducted and published by JAMA Network where they reveal the relationship between sleep duration and cognitive impairment. In general, without an exact conclusion and with results showing an inverted U-shaped association between sleep duration and global cognitive impairment, those responsible for research have pointed out that extreme sleep duration, less than (≤) 4 hours or greater than (≥) 10 hours, has been associated with decreased cognitive function accompanied by faster cognitive decline, unlike those who sleep 7 hours at night.

Sleep cognitive impairment Groundhog Day (1993)

The results have been the product of a study that collected nighttime sleep data from 28,756 people divided into two groups. The first group corresponds to individuals residing in the United Kingdom aged 50 and over and the second group corresponds to people living in China aged 45 and over. Thus, people who sleep less or more than the recommended amount of hours tend to have lower cognitive functioning and that is why it is important that they be evaluated to determine their state of health, because, for example, illnesses such as dementia they usually appear long before any diagnosis.

As we warned above, the results are not conclusive, since the deterioration of memory and intelligence due to lack or excess of sleep is due to more factors than only have to do with age and aging. Other elements that have been evaluated in the participating individuals correspond to educational level, family, nationality, body mass, smoking, alcoholism and diseases such as diabetes or cancer.

Sleep cognitive impairment Source: Jama Network

So you know, sleeping 7 hours a night would be enough to prevent or delay cognitive damage.


Brenda Medel I enjoy cinema, Laura Pausini’s fan, I always think about food and I don’t take off my sunglasses even when I sleep.