Study finds ‘sweet spot’ of sleep needed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Good news for those who want to be proactive in the fight against Alzheimer’s.  A new study found a “sweet spot” for how much a person should sleep to potentially stave off depression, weight gain and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, found sleeping six hours or less per night or nine hours or more per night negatively impacted adults’ brain performance and could lead to lasting consequences. 

The sweet spot, says the study, is conking out between seven to eight hours each night for maximum health benefits.

The findings of the study — which looked at data from more than 4,000 adults in United States, Canada, Australia and Japan — reemphasize the important role sleep plays in achieving optimal health.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief medical correspondent and a board-certified OBGYN, shared some tips on how to maximize getting those much-needed zzzs.

1. Follow a consistent sleep schedule: That means, if possible, every day go to sleep and wake up around the same time. You can’t make up for this on the weekend.

2. Avoid heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine in the couple of hours before bedtime.

3. The environment is really important: You want to keep your bedroom cold, dark and quiet, without something with a screen.

4. Meditation and exercise during the day have been shown to increase sleep at night.