Middle-aged people who sleep six hours or less a night may be more likely to develop dementia in their late 70s, a study found.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, followed nearly 8,000 people in Britain for about 25 years, beginning when they were 50 years old.

It found that those who consistently reported sleeping six hours or less on an average weeknight were about 30 percent more likely than people who regularly got seven hours sleep (defined as “normal” sleep in the study) to be diagnosed with dementia nearly three decades later.

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