The Margin: 3 reasons to sleep more: avoid dementia, have great sex and become a better investor

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Stock Market

It’s been quite a week for troubled sleep, between daylight-saving time taking away an hour last weekend, and the current banking crisis rattling investors and leading people to wonder whether their money is safe. So with World Sleep Day falling on Friday, it’s a great time to refocus on sleep hygiene — especially since more than a third of American adults are sleep-deprived, according to the CDC, which means they are getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep every night. This costs the U.S. economy $411 billion a year in lost productivity, as insufficient sleep is linked to daily stress, lack of alertness and memory problems, as well as chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and stroke.

Read more: World Sleep Day: 6 ways to sleep better — and keep recovering from daylight-saving time What’s more, new research is drawing a clearer link between sleep hygiene and mental health. The National Sleep Foundation’s latest Sleep in America Poll, released in time for daylight-saving time and the 25th anniversary of Sleep Awareness Week this week, found a strong link between sleep and depressive symptoms. Almost seven in 10 adults (65%) in the survey who reported being dissatisfied with their sleep also experienced mild or greater levels of depressive symptoms. But the individuals reported practicing healthy sleep behaviors — like keeping the same bedtimes and wake times each day, and getting at least seven hours of sleep — had less depressive symptoms, and they reported better moods. You can enjoy plenty of other rewards with more shut-eye, such as staying slim and performing better at work. And here are three more key reasons to seek a good night’s sleep. Good sleep cuts your risk of dementia A 2021 study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications found that middle-age adults who slept just six hours or less a night were 30% more likely to develop dementia in their late 70s compared with people in their 50s and 60s who snoozed for a solid seven hours. This large-scale study analyzed survey data from almost 8,000 U.K. adults over 25 years, starting when the subjects were in their 50s. It linked this data with dementia diagnoses, and found that people who consistently reported getting six hours or less of sleep on the average weeknight were more likely to be diagnosed with dementia almost three decades later. When broken down by decade, the 50-year-olds sleeping six hours or less had a 22% higher risk of dementia, and 60-year-olds were 37% more likely to be diagnosed. There was no general difference between men and women. And this higher risk was independent of risks related to socioeconomic status, their risk of having a cardiovascular event like a heart attack or stroke, or behavioral and mental health fa …

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