Alert
Close

Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Learning Centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular Articles

Viewed

More Sleep Means More Brain Power

So sleep in without any guilt — it helps slow aging, too

En español | A good night's sleep isn't just refreshing: New research shows that lack of sleep ages the brain. Researchers asked study participants how much sleep they were getting — first as a baseline then five years later. Those whose sleep decreased during the five years showed an accelerated mental decline during cognitive testing that was equal to an extra four to seven years of aging.

See also: Seven signs of sleep apnea.

Sheep with sleeping cap on

Research found that less sleep ages the brain faster. — Photo by: Adam Voorhes

"Sleep regenerates neurons that enable the brain to function optimally," says lead author Jane Ferrie, Ph.D., senior researcher at University College London Medical School. Intriguingly, the study found that those whose sleep increased during the five years also exhibited cognitive decline, possibly due to depression, heart disease, or some other illness. So what's optimal? Six to eight hours — consistently.

Sign up for AARP's Health Newsletter.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at JCPenney Optical.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AngiesList

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.