young adult couple hugging and smilingIs longer sleep duration a sign of early neurodegeneration?  This deterioration causes a loss in cognitive ability/function, which ultimately can increase the incidence of dementia. Prolonged sleep duration is categorized as more than 9 hours of sleep per night (6 hours being short, and 6-9 hours being average).  Should this sleep pattern persist over an extended period of time, chances of dementia are significantly higher.  In addition to dementia, people experiencing chronic inadequate sleep are at higher risk for other health complications including heart disease, diabetes, depression, obesity and cancer.  Declines in cognition are most clearly defined through executive functions (EF).  While a certain amount of cognitive decline is normal/expected with age, changes in cognitive function go along with healthy aging. It just so happens that some functions are more susceptible to the effects of aging than others.  These, among others, can be an early sign of dementia. Click this link to read the full article.