Can quality sleep help prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

Having a sound slumber may protect your brain from dementia.

sleeping woman

Recent research suggests sleep can play a vital role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. If you have poor quality sleep your chances increase, and conversely, those who have good quality sleep are less at risk.

YourLifeChoices reported recently on research that showed an association between poor sleep and a higher risk of accumulating beta-amyloid protein plaque in the brain, one of the hallmarks of the disease.

Amyloid proteins accumulate in the brain on a daily basis, and are thought to be a waste product from the energy used when brain cells communicate.

Your brain sweeps out excess amyloid proteins during slow-wave sleep, which is the deep sleep phase during which your memories are consolidated.

Scientists today believe if you are woken up during your deep cycle, the amyloid proteins build up and form a plaque on the brain tissue, which can be the first stage of the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists, though, are undecided on whether poor sleep causes the amyloid build-up, or vice versa.

While there is no need to worry about one night’s poor sleep, the research on the topic does suggest you should not ignore sleeping problems.

If you are suffering from insomnia, sleep apnoea or even if you are just waking multiple times during the night to go to the bathroom, you should consult your doctor.

Poor sleeping habits don’t just increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, they can also be responsible for faster ageing, weight gain, poor heart health, and for weakening your immune system.

Are you worried about your sleeping habits? How have you tried to combat your sleeping issues?



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    15th Oct 2017
    I am wondering how many Alzheimers sufferers have Sleep Apnoea. You wake up feeling tired in the morning when you think you have had 8 hours solid sleep when in fact you haven't. You can wake up and not be aware of it, momentarily stop breathing or for over a minute; occasionally wake up feeling as though you have just regain consciousness when in fact you may actually have done so. I'd love to know if any research has been done on this

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