A new study now shows that lack of sleep ages the brain, and surprisingly they also found that TOO MUCH sleep does the same thing! Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep doesn’t just make you tired the next day, it has a bad effect on your memory and your ability to function, and can bring on a whole lot of other physical problems if left to go too long.

Too much sleep bad for brain and too little sleep is bad for memory. On the other hand the right amount of sleep will improve your memory. As everyday I work on my memory and different ways to improve my memory and the best way I do that is with memory training.

A five-year study of 5,431 participants (1,459 women and 3,972 men), most between the ages of 35-55 was conducted at University College London Medical School (and published in May 1 issue of the journal Sleep). This 2011 study was a follow up study from their 2007 study, and the results supported their previous work. Too much or too little sleep has an adverse affect on the brain, and can reduce cognitive function from four to seven years.

In the study, researchers concluded that those who slept between 7-8 hours a night scored better on brain or memory tests. Those who started out at the beginning of the study with less than six hours, and increased their sleep time over the course of the research showed marked improvement in cognitive skills and improved memory. Those who started out with adequate sleep and shortened their sleep routine indicated a reduced lifespan and were more at risk for cardiovascular problems. “In terms of prevention, our findings indicate that consistently sleeping seven or eight hours per night is optimal for health,” said Dr. Jane E. Ferrie, PhD, lead researchers in the study. “In contrast to this,” she added, “the finding that an increased duration of sleep among those sleeping seven to eight hours is associated with higher levels of mortality implies that sleep restriction should at least be considered.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) suggests the following tips to get a good night’s sleep:

  • Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.
  • Do not go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal before bedtime either.
  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day
  • Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime, avoiding any rigorous exercise within 6 hours of bedtime
  • Get a full night’s sleep every night.
  • Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool.
  • If you are still having problems, consult your doctor or a sleep specialist.

According to the authors, good quality and adequate sleep is imperative to human functioning, brain, memory and well-being. Even if you have a good level of memory training but do not have enough sleep you are going to see a negative impact in your memory. Too much sleep time is usually an indication of depression, and that should be addressed as well.

Sleep deprivation and lack of sleep has an adverse effect on our performance, reaction times, attention or concentration, memory, and make us more accident-prone. In addition, the amount of time spent in quality sleep has been found to be associated with a wide range of quality of life measures, such as social skills, mental and physical health, and a shortened life span.

“The detrimental effects of too much, too little and poor quality sleep on various aspects of health have begun to receive more attention,” Ferrie added. “Given that our 24/7 society increasingly impinges on the lives of many people, it is important to consider what effects changes in sleep duration may have on health and well-being in the long term.”

If you want to improve your memory one of the easiest things that maybe you should look into is sleep. Sleep improves memory. It also shows that you can have too much of a good things and too much sleep could give you a bad memory.

This is Ron White, two-time USA Memory Champion , memory training expert, and memory keynote speaker. A good night’s sleep has always been an important part of my memory training program, and this article shows that I have not been wrong.




AARP Magazine – Snooze or Lose by Holly St. Lifer

EurekAlert! – Short, Long Sleep Duration Associated With Increased Mortality: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-12/aaos-jss111907.php

Science Daily – Too Much or Too Little Sleep May Accelerate Cognitive Aging, Study Shows: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110501183643.htm