Do you often wake up in the middle of the night? Or do you have trouble falling asleep? According to a new study featured on The Huffington Post, your sleep problems may be indicative of a bigger problem. According to lead researcher Claire Sexton, your bedtime issues may be associated with faster brain shrinkage.

Researchers surveyed 147 adults between 20 and 84 years old who underwent two MRI brain scans on an average of 3.5 years apart. Based on the results, 35 percent reported poor sleep quality; their brain scans also showed a "more rapid decrease in the frontal, temporal and parietal parts of the brain."

While it's still too early to say that poor sleep quality directly causes faster brain volume decrease, it may be a good idea to start taking better care of yourself. Don't ignore your sleep problems and see a specialist about them.

(Photo by MeditationMusic.net via Flickr Creative Commons)

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