Age, not a lack of sleep, is to blame for memory problems in older adults, researchers say.
Well-rested younger adults were found to make fewer memory mistakes than their sleepy peers in a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts. However, older adults in the study did no better on the memory tasks, whether sleep deprived or not.
“Our research suggests that changes in the aging brain, rather than the restorative effects of sleep itself, may underlie some of the memory problems that older adults experience,” said senior author Rebecca M. Spencer.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.