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In late July 2016, the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) met in Toronto, Canada, hosting global leaders in the field of sleep medicine from four continents and a variety of disciplines. These included gerontology, sleep medicine, circadian disorders, neuroscience, psychology and otolaryngology. The experts provided advice to:

  • help people maintain healthy sleep as they age
  • help people who have trouble falling and staying asleep
  • help those who may have possible sleep disorders
  • help people with dementia who have trouble sleeping and their caregivers
  • help health care providers aid others to improve their sleep

The GCBH urges older adults to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, but we know many adults do not get the recommended amount. AARP research has found that better sleep is correlated with people having higher perceptions of their well-being and brain health. Unfortunately, 23 percent of survey respondents rated their sleep quality as fair or poor. The GCBH experts made clear that while it is normal for sleep to change as we age, having poor quality sleep is not normal. Many common sleep disorders that occur as we age can be treated. The experts emphasized that people at any age can take steps to improve their sleep.

These are the GCBH’s recommendations on sleep and brain health for people as they age.

To find out more about how sleep affects your brain health, see this article by Candy Sagon.


2016 AARP Sleep and Brain Health Survey

Over 4 in 10 adults say they don’t get enough sleep. Learn more

GCBH Sleep Report

Click image to download full report


Infographic

Experts agree, sleep is vital for the aging brain, including cognitive function. Click here for English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Arabic translations.

GCBH Sleep Infographic Promo

Click image to view full PDF

Sleep Issue Specialists

SONIA ANCOLI-ISRAEL, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Medicine, University of California – San Diego

 

DONALD BLIWISE Ph.D

Professor of Neurology, Emory University

JULIE CARRIER, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Université de Montréal

CHARLES CZEISLER, Ph.D, M.D.

Baldino Professor and Director of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School

 

TIINA PAUNIO, M.D, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, Finland

 

DALVA POYARES, M.D

Senior Professor of Psychobiology, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

EUS VAN SOMEREN, Ph.D.

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

 

KRISTINE YAFFE, M.D

Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology, University of California – San Francisco 

 

YAP YOKE YEOW, M.D., M.Med

Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

 

PHYLLIS ZEE, M.D., Ph.D

Benjamin and Virginia T. Boshes Professor of Neurology, Northwestern University