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This one sleep habit is an early predictor of cognitive decline

This one sleep habit is an early predictor of cognitive decline

If you're not getting good quality (or quantity!) sleep, you can probably tell. The physical and mental health issues can present in some obvious symptoms: slow processing speed, daytime sleepiness, forgetfulness, clumsiness and more. 

Sometimes, it's simply a one-off incident: a later-than-usual night with Netflix, a change to the night shift at work, or a cough that keeps you from falling asleep. 

But if the issue is caused by chronic insomnia, it's important to understand that there are different types of sleep issues—and research says one type may be worse than others in terms of predicting cognitive decline. 

While waking up periodically throughout the night or waking up and being unable to fall back to sleep at all can certainly affect the quality and quantity of your sleep, researchers found that those who have trouble falling asleep—referred to as "sleep-onset insomnia"—may have a bigger concern.

A new study published in the journal "Sleep" found that sleep-onset insomnia:

1. seemed to be "a uniquely strong warning sign" of cognitive impairment and mental decline in the future


2. is associated with a decline in language, memory, executive function, visuospatial performance and processing speed

The good news? Sleep health and behaviors are often modifiable. If you're having trouble falling asleep, talk to your doctor about your options. 

Read more about this new study from The American Academy of Sleep Medicine here:

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