Everyone loves a good sleep in, which is why it’s so disappointing to have to deliver you this news. For those who overindulge in the zzz’s, sleeping too long could possibly be signalling something serious about your brain health, new research suggests.
The study out of Boston University School of Medicine revealed that people who slept for more than 9 hours a night were twice as likely to develop dementia of any kind over the course of 10 years compared to those who slept between 6 to 9 hours a night. They were also 71 per cent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
But that’s not all: people who slept less than 9 previously, but then begun to sleep more than 9 hours over 13 years were 2.5 times more likely to develop any kind of dementia compared to those who had always slept for 9 hours.
The study also concluded that people who slept for longer periods of time had poorer processing speeds and lower brain volumes compared to those who slept between 6 and 9 hours.
So what does it mean for people who love a good, extended sleep in? Researchers believe that if you’re already sleeping this long, that sleeping less will essentially do nothing to reduce your risk of developing dementia. That’s because they believe you’re already sleeping longer hours because of signs of degeneration in your brain’s neurons linked to dementia, not because it could cause it.