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:
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.
Also available in Spanish.
Over 4 in 10 adults say they don’t get enough sleep. Learn more
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Available in Spanish translation.
Experts agree, sleep is vital for the aging brain, including cognitive function. Click here for English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Arabic translations.
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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
Global Council on Brain Health. The Brain-Sleep Connection: GCBH Recommendations on Sleep and Brain Health. Washington, DC: Global Council on Brain Health, January 2017. https://doi.org/10.26419/pia.00014.001
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