Change in Sleep Duration and Cognitive Function: Findings from the Whitehall II Study.

University College London, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, London, UK.
Sleep (Impact Factor: 4.59). 05/2011; 34(5):565-73.
Source: PubMed


Evidence from cross-sectional studies shows that sleep is associated with cognitive function. This study examines change in sleep duration as a determinant of cognitive function.
Prospective cohort.
The Whitehall II study.
1459 women and 3972 men aged 45-69 at baseline.
Sleep duration (≤ 5, 6, 7, 8, ≥ 9 h on an average week night) was assessed once between 1997-1999, baseline for the present study, and once between 2002-2004, average follow-up 5.4 years. Cognitive function was measured (2002-2004) using 6 tests: verbal memory, inductive reasoning (Alice Heim 4-I), verbal meaning (Mill Hill), phonemic and semantic fluency, and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). In analyses adjusted for age, sex, and education, and corrected for multiple testing, adverse changes in sleep between baseline and follow-up (decrease from 6, 7, or 8 h, increase from 7 or 8 h) were associated with lower scores on most cognitive function tests. Exceptions were memory, and, for a decrease from 6-8 h only, phonemic fluency. Further adjustment for occupational position attenuated the associations slightly. However, firm evidence remained for an association between an increase from 7 or 8 h sleep and lower cognitive function for all tests, except memory, and between a decrease from 6-8 h sleep and poorer reasoning, vocabulary, and the MMSE. The magnitude of these effects was equivalent to a 4-7 year increase in age.
These results suggest that adverse changes in sleep duration are associated with poorer cognitive function in the middle-aged.

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Available from: Michael G Marmot, Sep 30, 2015
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    • "Self-reported short sleep, tiredness and fatigue are more strongly associated with subjective measures of cognitive function than with objective measures [7]. Findings from the Whitehall II study show that adverse changes in sleep over time (decrease from 6, 7 or 8 hours, or increase from 7 or 8 hours) are associated with lower scores on a variety of cognitive function tests, but not memory function [10]. Similarly, a Spanish study found that people who sleep for 11 hours or more per night have significantly lower global cognition scores than those who sleep for 7 hours [11]. "
    Sleep and its disorders affect society, first edited by Chris Idikowski, 09/2014: chapter 1: pages 1-28; Intech., ISBN: 9789535117254
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    • "Our study has also some limitations: first, sleep duration might vary over the years of follow-up. As it was observed in other studies, however, for the majority of adults the time of habitual sleep remained unchanged, and a change in duration of[1 hour was observed in only 7 % of women and 4 % of men (Ferrie et al. 2011). Besides, feelings of life-weariness change with age, with the experiences of life events or with the change of economical or social status of a country (Ray et al. 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship of sleep duration and all-cause mortality among 2,449 Polish community-dwelling older citizens of Krakow observed during 22 years of follow-up. In particular, the role of some demographic, psychosocial and health-related conditions were investigated in terms of modification effect. In the prospective study, background information was gathered by face-to-face interview. Vital data were obtained from the population registry. Cox regression models were used to assess the role of sleep duration in mortality, in the analyses of potential effect modifiers and the shape of the relationship. Sleep duration was observed to be a significant predictor of all-cause mortality. Life-weariness, functional activity, total number of chronic diseases and age (65–79, 80+) were found to be effect modifiers for the relationship between sleep duration and mortality. Further investigation showed a U-shaped mortality risk associated with the duration of sleep among individuals with a high level of life-weariness, high functional activity and in individuals aged 80 and over. On the other hand, a linear relationship between longer sleep duration and mortality was observed among older people with no experience of life-weariness, without chronic diseases, with medium functional activity and aged 65–79, but also among those who reported three and more chronic conditions. Results of our study support available evidence showing the relationship between sleep duration and mortality among older adults and suggest that any public health intervention in this area should consider also other coexisting modifiable psychosocial and functional determinants.
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    • "Sleep quality is a critical emerging risk factor for cognitive aging [114]. Measures of sleep quality such as excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep duration, and sleep latency have been associated with dementia and cognitive impairment [115] [116] [117]. Disturbed sleep could affect synaptic plasticity and consolidation of memory [118] [119] [120]. "
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