Baptist Health South Florida: Skimping on sleep in middle age may significantly increase your risk of dementia when you get older.

“This is a very significant study, shedding light on an important variable — short sleep duration — associated with the development of dementia,” says Harneet Walia, M.D., medical director of sleep medicine at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute.

The study, partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, showed that people in their 50s and 60s who get six hours or less of sleep per night were 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia in later years than those who got a normal amount of sleep, defined as 7 hours.