The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) has released a report which summarises recommendations for the public, in particular for people aged over 50, about getting better sleep for improved brain health. Older people are advised to aim for seven to eight hours of sleep daily. Practical advice to help achieve this target include:
- Avoiding tea and coffee after lunch.
- Avoiding daytime naps longer than half an hour.
- Getting-up at the same time every day.
- Exposure to natural sunlight during the daytime.
- Avoiding alcohol as an “aid” for sleep.
- Avoiding dinners less than three hours before going to bed.
- Not viewing electronic screens after going to bed, including tablets, phones or laptops.
- Avoiding over-the-counter sleep preparations.
- Wearing socks in bed for warm feet.
- Not allowing pets in the bedroom.
- Avoiding arguments before going to bed.
The panel of experts organised by Age UK and the American Association of Retired Persons suggest there is evidence that poor sleep may increase the risks of heart disease, obesity and diabetes (in addition to a less than sharp mind).
The GCBH report also offers advice to help people with dementia (and their carers) having trouble sleeping, both during the daytime and the night-time.
Sleep tips: Avoid afternoon coffee, over-50s advised. London: BBC Health News, January 11th 2017.
This relates to:
Global Council on Brain Health (2016/7). The brain-sleep connection: GCBH recommendations on sleep and brain health. Washington [USA]: Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) / American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), January 2017.
International research into the effects of sleep deprivation:
Walsh, F. (2017). How lack of sleep affects the brain. London: BBC Health News, June 26th 2017.
Tests in NHS to Identify Sleep Apnoea Double?
“NHS data shows that 147,610 sleep diagnostic tests were carried out last year – compared with 69,919 in 2007-08”.
Rhodes, D. (2017). Sleep disorder testing carried out by NHS doubles. London: BBC Health News, June 20th 2017.