Do you know how much or how little you sleep? Not sleeping enough increases your risk of dementia. Adding to the already long list of diseases and problems associated with too little sleep, researchers in the UK has demonstrated a correlation between too little sleep and increased dementia risk. After controlling for a long range of other health factors, they found that 50-year-olds who slept six hours or less per night had a 22% increased risk of developing dementia. For 60-year-olds, the risk went up by 37%.
Keep track of your sleep for a few weeks to get an idea of whether you are sleeping enough. There are many options for sleep tracking. The Apple watch and several other types of wristwatches register your sleep. You can also get sensors to place under your mattress or even a radar you place on your bedside table to track your movement during the night. But even if you don’t have any of these fancy devices, you can simply write in your journal when you started your evening wind-down, when you went to bed and when you got up. Spending some time winding down (without devices or TV) and spending enough time in bed is the first step towards better sleep.
If you don’t get enough sleep, it is very hard to make any change in your life.