Deep sleep - the fountain of youth?
New research published in the journal Neuron from the University of California Berkeley focuses on sleep and ageing. A review of sleep research found that deep restorative, sedative free sleep helps keep us youthful.
"Nearly every disease killing us later in life has a causal link to lack of sleep," said the senior researcher, Matthew Walker a UC Berkeley professor of psychology and neuroscience "We've done a good job of extending our life span but a poor job of extending our health span. We now see sleep and improving sleep as a new pathway for helping remedy that."
Poor sleep has been linked to many conditions including Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. While the pharmaceutical industry is making lots of money, professor Walker warns that pills that help people to sleep are a poor substitute for "real" sleep. "Don't be fooled into thinking sedation is "real" sleep. It's not" he said.
Ageing can bring on a decline in deep non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep or "slow wave" sleep and the brainwaves known as "sleep spindles". These are some of the processes that assist in cognitive health including transferring memories and information from the hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex.
About the journal: Neuron is a peer reviewed scientific journal published by Cell Press, concerning neuroscience and related biological processes.