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Adequate sleep is important to maintain good health, but in later years it may be more important than you think.
There is a lot of evidence to support it as important to  both health and longevity.

This time researchers linked sleep deprivation to an increased risk for alzheimer's disease

According to a recent study sleep deprivation may increase the risk for the disease and that sleepiness in the elderly could be an indication of it.

The study involved 84 elderly adults 66-87 years of age, without memory problems.  Sleepiness was measured using questionnaires. The participants were asked how likely they were to fall asleep during certain activities. Brain activity was measured using magnetic resonance imaging(MRI).

The sleepy participants showed less coordinated activity in the parts of the brains that are active when at rest. The findings indicate that sleep deprivation is a risk factor for alzheimer's

Read more about sleep and how it may affect memory.

When it comes to healthy aging, it is wise to include adequate sleep in your health promotion plans.