Sleepy? Your memory may be impaired
|Author: Elizabeth Landau - CNN.com|
Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Everyone has had one of those days where a night of choppy or short sleep leads into a morning of mental haze. New research presented at the Neuroscience 2012 conference suggests that sleep deprivation might be worse for you than you think.
For starters, sleepiness in the elderly could be an indication of Alzheimer's risk, says Andrew Ward, researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Ward and colleagues did a study involving 84 elderly adults without memory problems, ranging from age 66 to 87. Researchers gave them a questionnaire about how likely they were to fall asleep during various daily activities, as a way to measure sleepiness. They also measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).Researchers found that the sleepy study participants tended to show less coordinated activity in the default mode network, brain regions that are active when the brain is resting and are involved in introspection.
This suggests that people with bad sleep may be more susceptible to Alzheimer’s, but "we need to do more research to see if this is actually true," Ward said. The next step would be to follow the participants over time to see who develops Alzheimer's in the long term. The study also suggests that improvements in sleep may restore network connectivity - but again, further investigation is necessary to make more substantial conclusions.
Elderly people generally sleep fewer hours and wake up more frequently during the night than their younger counterparts, Ward said. And reports from Alzheimer's caregivers suggest that people with worse sleep have more severe memory impairments.
A second study also emphasized the importance of getting a good night's sleep. Hengi Rao, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, presented an experiment involving sleep deprivation in a laboratory. Participants spent four nights in the lab as researchers controlled their number of sleeping hours, gave them memory tests and scanned their brains (doesn't that sound fun!).
The 22 healthy adults slept nine hours the first night, went 24 hours without sleeping, and then spent two nights gaining recovery sleep. Their brains were scanned after nights 1, 2 and 4.
After sleep deprivation, researchers found that participants showed less connectivity between the default mode network and the hippocampus, a region of the brain essential for memory. After recovery sleep, however, their brains showed the same activity as after that first night of nine hours of sleep. Their performance on memory tasks was correlated to the activity in these regions.
"It’s critical to obtain recovery sleep after sleep loss and avoid chronic sleep deprivation" in order for the brain to restore the integrity of this neural network, Rao said.
How much sleep loss are we talking about? Ted Abel of the University of Pennsylvania discussed a study he's involved with using mice. Of course, mice are not perfect approximations for humans, but may give some insight into what's going on in the human body. It turns out that mice show memory impairment after being deprived only about three hours of their normal sleep, which translates into 20% of their daily total.
If animal models are to be believed, memory strengthening can be affected in a human who sleeps six hours instead of eight hours, this study suggests.
Bottom line: Getting a good night's sleep is important for memory.
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Distance Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Faculty Development
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Event & Training Services
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS July 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
"Into the Shadow of the Disappearing Sun," the first of two shows about eclipses, will be presented May 2-July 2 at WKU’s Hardin Planetarium.
Madeline Marita, a student from Western Kentucky University, has received a place on a Fulbright Summer Institute to study at the Globe Theatre (London, England) on one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programmes operating world-w
The decision to further your education is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life. Often the hardest part of the journey is to get started.
WKU’s Board of Regents approved tuition and mandatory student fees for 2018 fiscal year and approved consolidating Engineering, Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences and Computer Science into the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
WKU’s Board of Regents approved renaming Mass Media and Technology Hall to honor long-time WKU supporter and state representative Jody Richards of Bowling Green.
WKU students will bike across the country this summer to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,