Brain Health

What could midlife nightmares suggest about long-term brain health?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 19, 2022

Could regular nightmares signal poor brain function? New research suggests that nightmares in middle-age (35-64) could be indicative of dementia, especially for men.

Study Summary

This study, including 605 middle-aged adults, found that:

  • Individuals who experienced nightmares weekly had a 4-fold greater chance of cognitive decline when compared to those who did not experience nightmares.

Those who experienced nightmares were also at higher risk for dementia.

The Hearty Take

Outside of genetics, there aren’t many early risk indicators for dementia. If you are middle-aged and tend to have more nightmares, feel empowered to take control of your sleep hygiene. Prioritize healthy sleep habits by sleeping 7-8 hours per night and creating a consistent sleep schedule. You can also adopt lifestyle habits that can protect from cognitive decline and dementia, such as: getting in regular exercise, learning, focusing on stress-reduction and emphasizing sleep hygiene! Reach out to the medical team if you want to discuss how to minimize your dementia risk!

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