Washington: A new study has revealed that shortage of sleep can rapidly reduce the size of people's brains.
Sleep has been proposed to be "the brain's housekeeper", serving to repair and restore the brain.
Researchers found that 35 percent of the people in the study met the criteria for poor sleep quality, scoring an average of 8.5 out of 21 points on the sleep assessment. The assessment looked at how long people slept, how long it took them to fall asleep at night, use of sleeping medications, and other factors.
The study established that sleep difficulties were linked with a more rapid decline in brain volume over the course of the study in widespread brain regions, including within frontal, temporal and parietal areas. The results were more pronounced in people over 60 years old.
The study is published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.