New York: In a new study, it sheds light that Older adults who struggle to fall asleep and experience frequent night awakenings are at high risk for developing dementia or dying early from any cause. The findings, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, indicated that people who reported routinely experiencing trouble falling asleep had a 49 percent increased risk of dementia. And those who often woke in the night and had difficulty falling back asleep had a 39 percent increased risk of dementia
"We found a strong association between frequent difficulty falling asleep and nighttime awakenings and dementia and early death from any cause, even after we controlled for things like depression, sex, income, education and chronic conditions," said researcher Rebecca Robbins from Harvard Medical School.
For the study, the research team analysed data collected by the National Health and Aging Trends Study, which conducts annual in-person interviews with a nationally representative sample of 6,376 Medicare beneficiaries.
Data from between 2011 and 2018 were examined for the new study, with a focus on people in the highest risk category -- those who said they had sleep issues "most nights or almost every night".Self-reported sleep difficulties by participants in the study were then compared to each participant's medical records.
The study found that people who had trouble falling asleep most nights had about a 44 percent increased risk of early death from any cause.