Shorter sleep duration and better sleep quality are associated with greater tissue density in the brain

Poor sleep quality is associated with unfavorable psychological measurements, whereas sleep duration has complex relationships with such measurements. The aim of this study was to identify the associations between microstructural properties of the brain and sleep duration/sleep quality in a young adult. The associations between mean difusivity (MD), a measure of difusion tensor imaging (DTI), and sleep duration/sleep quality were investigated in a study cohort of 1201 normal young adults. Positive correlations between sleep duration and MD of widespread areas of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the dopaminergic systems, were identifed. Negative correlations between sleep quality and MD of the widespread areas of the brain, including the PFC and the right hippocampus, were also detected. Lower MD has been previously associated with more neural tissues in the brain. Further, shorter sleep duration was associated with greater persistence and executive functioning (lower Stroop interference), whereas good sleep quality was associated with states and traits relevant to positive afects. These results suggest that bad sleep quality and longer sleep duration were associated with aberrant neurocognitive measurements in the brain in healthy young adults.