Not sleeping enough can shrink your brain, study says

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Not Sleeping Enough Can Shrink Your Brain: Study

Turns out, a good night's sleep can prevent more than just tired eyes: Duke researchers in Singapore studied 66 Chinese adults through sleep surveys and MRI scans and found those who got less sleep showed a decline in cognitive function -- and smaller brains than when they first started the study.

Our brains already shrink as we age, but clocking in fewer hours on the pillow could cause that process to speed up. The scientists say this could be the reason behind the rise in dementia among older people.

Last year, there was an estimated 44 million people with dementia worldwide. According to Alzheimer's Disease International, that number is expected to increase to more than 75 million by 2030, and 135 million in 2050.

So if you need an excuse to grab a few extra hours under the covers, that seems like a pretty good one. As for how much you should be aiming for on the reg, scientists say adults need 7-8 hours every night.

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