Participants aged 18 to 80 were asked to measure their sleep against five different “everyday” memories: having to check whether they’ve done something; forgetting to tell somebody something important; where things are normally kept; doing something they intended to do such as posting a letter and finding it difficult to concentrate.
Poor sleep was classed as under five hours a night and the results found that all aspects of memory are affected by low levels of sleep.
The most commonly reported memory failure was having to check whether they had done something with 50 per cent struggling with this problem at least once a week but the figure rose to two thirds for poor sleepers.
This was closely followed by people forgetting to do something they intended to do – a weekly problem for 44 per cent rising to 60 per cent for those who slept for under five hours.
Forgetting where things are kept was a weekly problem for 25 per cent of respondents though when they had slept poorly it drastically increased to two thirds.
Half of poor sleepers surveyed said they “regularly” struggled with concentration in relation to their working life illustrating the profound effect lack of sleep has on everyday memory and wellbeing.
On average, those who slept for less than five hours a night were 25 per cent more forgetful than those who slept for longer. (read the whole thing)