Old Age Memory Decline Postponed by Sleep!

Posted on February 20, 2013 by admin

Neuroscience is a bit of a complicated subject, even for the masterminds of sleep here at Relax Master. Still it plays a vital role in why sleep is so good for us, and why the right balance can correct all sorts of issues we might be having, be that stress, social dissonance and even memory as we’ve touched on before. In a recent report by the BBC in fact, they identified that the right sleep could help our brains stay functioning cognitively for longer as we move into old age! Yet another reason to make sure your sleep pattern is a priority!

Yes whilst there’s little doubt that sleep can help you feel better overall, the extent to which it can have a significant effect on the deeply seated functioning of the brain seems to be consistently variable in each study. Now, it’s a well-known fact that as we get older our ability to remember important things and continue learning decreases. Sometimes with diseases such as dementia, the effects can be incomparably damaging.

So then, how exactly can sleep help to slow these effects? Essentially, a lack of sleep is linked directly to poor memory, that much we know. So the scientists who ran the experiments saw fit to correlate the two during their tests; centring the research around an area of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex. This little region is imperative for a good night’s rest, or more scientifically, for initiating deep sleep. As this region deteriorates with age, deep sleep happens less often and thus memory and learning ability begins to drop.

Save the medial prefrontal cortex, save the capacity for memory. Unfortunately it can’t currently be completely rescued from deterioration, but there were several interesting further experiments and conclusions drawn based on this idea. Whilst the researchers found that stimulating the region with electricity during the night would invoke better sleep, thus ensuring the area stayed healthy for longer, the overtone of the message is clear: sleep well, enter deep sleep nightly and look after your sleep pattern like any other aspect of your body and the medial prefrontal cortex will stay functional for longer!

That in mind then, have a look through our other recent posts for information on getting off to sleep better, and remember, the more you can put into that pattern, the longer your mental cognitive state is likely to last as you get older! As ever, there's nothing that can help a great night's sleep like an adjustable bed, and that's where we at Relax Master can help!

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