How might sleep affect memory? People who are persistently sleep deprived are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, and narrowed blood vessels. Each of these can decrease blood flow inside the brain. Brain cells need a lot of oxygen and sugar, so blood flow problems could affect their ability to work properly.
Poor sleep could affect the brain in another way. Sleep-deprived mice develop more deposits of a protein called beta amyloid in the brain compared with mice allowed to sleep normally. In humans, beta amyloid deposits in the brain are linked to declines in memory and thinking and also increase the risk of dementia.
A new report from the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study suggests that getting an ‘average’ amount of sleep, seven hours per day, may help maintain memory in later life and that clinical interventions based on sleep therapy should be examined for the prevention of [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][mental] impairment.
You can read the full report here: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/little-sleep-much-affect-memory-201405027136