According to the preliminary results of the study, carried out by Neuroscientists from Western University’s Brain and Mind Institute, which were published in the high-impact journal SLEEP, have shown that people who sleep on average between seven to eight hours per night performed better cognitively than those who slept less, or more.
The study was launched in June 2017, and within days more than 40,000 people from around the world participated in the online scientific investigation, which included an in-depth questionnaire and a series of cognitive performance activities.
Half of all participants in the study reported that they have slept less than 6.3 hours per night, which is an hour less than the study’s recommended amount. One of the amazing revelations was that most participants who slept four hours or less performed as if they were almost nine years older. And another startling finding of the study was that sleep affected all adults equally.
The amount of sleep associated with highly functional cognitive behaviour was the same for everyone, regardless of age. The study found that participants’ reasoning and verbal abilities were two of the actions most strongly affected by sleep while short-term memory performance was relatively unaffected.
The study showed that even a single night’s sleep can affect a person’s ability to think. Participants who slept more than usual the night before participating in the study performed better than those who slept their usual amount or less.