Fragmented or lower sleep efficiency may affect executive function as it is linked to decline in cognitive abilities of older people over a period of three to four years, a study has found.
Poor sleep quality is associated with a 40 to 50 percent increase in the odds of clinically significant decline in executive function, which was similar in magnitude to the effect of a five-year increase in age.
“This study provides an important reminder that healthy sleep involves both the quantity and quality of sleep,” said M. Safwan Badr, president of American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The study involved 2,822 community-dwelling older men at six clinical centres in the US
Participants had a mean age of 76 years.
An average of five nights of objective sleep data were collected from each participant using a wrist actigraph.
Cognitive function assessment included evaluation of attention and executive function using the Trails B test.
According to the study authors, executive function is the ability for planning or decision making, error correction or trouble shooting and abstract thinking.
The study appeared in the journal Sleep.