Our memory skills decline as we age; it’s an inevitable result of growing older. But a recent study suggests that aging adults’ failure to recall a thought or two, may be caused by the one place we think we should find rest: sleep.
Clearly, a good night’s sleep will never be overrated. The study, completed by University of California, Berkeley scientists found that it all comes down to the quality of sleep we have as we get older, not the quantity.
“When we are young, we have deep sleep that helps the brain store and retain new facts and information,” Matthew Walker said in a statement. “But as we get older, the quality of our sleep deteriorates and prevents those memories from being saved by the brain at night.”
The Huffington Post summarizes the effects the study found:
During the time spent in deep sleep, the brain generates slow brain waves that carry our memories of the day from the hippocampus, where memories are stored temporarily, to the prefrontal cortex for long-term storage. As we get age, this type of sleep gets harder to come by, as older than they did when they were younger. This lack of deep sleep causes “” and compromised pathways between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, leaving memories “stuck” in the short-term memory part of the brain, only to be rewritten by new ones.
It’s important to make sure you get your beauty rest, and if you are having trouble fading off to dreamland then be sure to speak with your family doctor. Raise your concerns – your memory may thank you for it later.
How many hours of sleep did you get last night?