In separate studies following people in their 60s and 70s for more than a decade, the more frequently someone used sleep drugs, the more likely they were to develop memory and thinking troubles, reports CBS Pittsburgh.

“Sleep disturbance can be the first sign of a neurodegenerativedisorder,” says AHN neuropsychologist Carol Schramke, PhD. “People chronically deprived of sleep are more likely to have high blood pressure, to have problems with diabetes, to have other health problems that also increase your risk of developing dementia.”