Study Finds Insomnia Can Up Your Risk For Dementia Over 50%
For this study, researchers wanted to look at the connection between sleep disturbances and dementia, looking at over 6,000 participants over a 10-year period. Data from adults ages 65 and up were analyzed from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, with an emphasis on sleep initiation insomnia (trouble falling asleep), sleep-maintenance insomnia (trouble falling back asleep after waking up early), and sleep medication usage.
Then, the study authors looked to see which of the participants developed dementia over the course of the study. And as you might imagine, insomnia (namely, sleep initiation insomnia) is not a great recipe for lowering your dementia risk.
The study authors found that sleep initiation insomnia increased participants’ risk of insomnia just over 50%, which is a pretty significant stat. Sleep medication usage also showed an increased dementia risk at 30%.
As lead investigator Roger Wong, Ph.D., MPH, MSW, notes in a news release, “Our findings highlight the importance of considering sleep disturbance history when assessing the dementia risk profile for older adults,” adding that more research is needed to better understand the mechanisms behind this insomnia-dementia connection.