A series of Norwegian news agencies picked up our paper on poor sleep quality and cortical thinning.
In this paper, we examined the relationship between sleep quality and cortical and hippocampal volume and atrophy within a community-based sample, and explored the influence of age on results, and assess the possible confounding effects of physical activity levels, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure.
We found that poor sleep quality was associated with reduced volume within the right superior frontal cortex in cross-sectional analyses, and an increased rate of atrophy within widespread frontal, temporal, and parietal regions in longitudinal analyses. Results were largely driven by correlations within adults over the age of 60, and could not be explained by variation in physical activity, BMI, or blood pressure. Sleep quality was not associated with hippocampal volume or atrophy.
We found that longitudinal measures of cortical atrophy were widely correlated with sleep quality. Poor sleep quality may be a cause or a consequence of brain atrophy, and future studies examining the effect of interventions that improve sleep quality on rates of atrophy may hold key insights into the direction of this relationship.