There are some very important things we need to do to try to stay healthy. We must try to follow a varied and balanced diet, and above all follow it correctly and exactly as the doctors advise us. It is also good to get some exercise and undergo regular tests to prevent diseases or discover them in time.
But there is another very important ingredient for the protection of our health: a good night’s rest. In fact, sleeping badly could have negative effects, damaging our body and our mind. As we shall see, recent research has made some interesting discoveries on this issue. In fact, it seems that the correct number of hours to sleep after the age of 40 has been discovered to better protect mental health. We therefore present the results of the research: here is how many hours we should sleep every night to maintain our mental well-being.
The precise calculation of scientists
The department of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom has conducted an interesting research to understand what is the optimal number of hours of sleep to ensure optimal cognitive functioning. The researchers analyzed data from nearly half a million British adults, whose ages ranged from 38 to 73 years. These people took tests to measure their reasoning skills, and the tests were related to the number of hours they slept each night.
The results showed that the participants with the best cognitive performance slept about seven hours a night. This would therefore be the ideal number of hours of sleep to protect the brain.
Here is how many hours we should sleep every night after the age of 40 to protect our mental health
Those who slept seven hours a night performed best on visual attention, memory, and problem solving tests. Those who slept more (or less) had worse outcomes, and also showed greater symptoms of anxiety and depression.
According to the researchers, these findings could indicate that sleeping too much or too little could worsen mental abilities and also increase the risk of cognitive decline as we age.
It would therefore seem that we should sleep seven hours a night, obviously taking precautions to sleep well. However, the researchers specify that the results of the study, although quite clear, do not yet represent definitive proof of the relationship between the number of hours of sleep and cognitive decline.
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