BOSTON (CBS) – How much or how little sleep you get may adversely affect your memory as you age, according to new research.

Dr. Elizabeth Devore of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School led the study, which looked at 15,000 women.

Researchers found that women who slept five or fewer hours or nine or more hours per day had worse memory.

Their findings suggest that getting an average amount of sleep, said to be about seven hours a day, may help maintain memory in later life.

“Women who reported longer and shorter sleep durations, so the extremes on both ends in mid-life and later life, had lower cognitive function levels in later life than the women who slept sort of what we consider an average amount of sleep, which is about seven hours per night,” Dr. Devore told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

“It’s a good suggestion that sleep really is important in later life cognition.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Diane Stern reports

Researchers say the participants in the study were female nurses, age 70 or older, who were free of stroke and depression at the initial cognitive assessment.

The study is published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


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