I worry about dementia. I have watched two aunts, an uncle and my own mother fade away in that manner.
Maybe you heard the story on NPR. I read about it on Changing Aging. Sleep problems are associated with cognitive decline. Forty percent of American adults have trouble sleeping, and according to Dr. Kristine Yaffe of the University of California at San Francisco, those with sleep disorders are twice as likely to develop some type of dementia in later life.
Of course, her research was done on individuals over 75, a population that seems more likely to develop dementia in any case. (I don’t understand statistics very well.) In any case, a connection is there, but that does not mean that sleep disorders actually cause dementia. Maybe dementia causes sleep disorder. Or maybe some other factor is at work that might result in both sleep problems and dementia.
It seems to me that there is no reason to assume that the thing to do is sleep better so you won’t get dementia. On the other hand, sleeping better certainly can’t hurt anything and the article lists the typical sleep hygiene suggestions that I have tried and that really have worked for me. It also mentions that the best way to strength one’s circadian rhythms is with natural sunlight. I think I intuitively knew this is something I need and so I feel vindicated in my trek south each winter.
Or maybe that is what they call cognitive dissonance. In any case, the light had definitely changed and I am starting to think about heading south with the rest of the birds.
Here is another funky statistic that I just read in the September Redbook:
An Ikea survey found that woman who use shoe racks are seven times more likely to be on time for work. Who cares why--just get one.
Honestly, that is pretty funny. Wouldn't it be nice if life was really that easy?