Poor sleep linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Study shows that poor sleep may be linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Poor sleep linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease

A study of older people published in the journal Neurology reveals a link between sleep disturbances and biological markers for Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers studied 101 people with an average age of 63 who all completed sleep questionnaires and underwent other tests, such as spinal fluid analysis for indicators of plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s.

The study found that poor sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and other sleep problems do contribute to higher risk of Alzheimer’s.

It is believed that during sleep time, the brain clears toxic proteins that would otherwise form plaque on the brain.

However, not all sleep problems contribute to Alzheimer’s, with researchers finding no correlation between cognitive decline and obstructive sleep apnoea.

“Not everyone with sleep problems is destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease,” said senior study author Associate Professor Barbara B. Bendlin.

“We’re looking at groups of people, and over the whole group we find the association of poor sleep with the markers of Alzheimer’s. But when you look at individuals, not everyone shows that pattern.

“It may be possible that early intervention for people at risk of Alzheimer's disease may prevent or delay the onset of the disease," she said.

How do you sleep at night? Do you have any tips to help our members get more quality sleep?



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    10th Jul 2017
    For those that wake up naturally in the early hours of the morning, say between 3am and 4am. Even though most times going to bed at say 11pm (fall asleep quickly usually). No good going to bed earlier as then wake up earlier than the above times.
    Anyone have any tips ??
    10th Jul 2017
    There are some reports which say a diet low in carbs causes broken sleep. Whether that's really true I don't know but when I wake at 2 or 3am I pop a few carbs with tea and toast and can go back to sleep for another 2 hours or so.
    My neighbour swears by visualising a grey wall and concentrating on it, if her mind drifts away she brings it back to the grey wall and is asleep in about ten minutes. I've never tried that I find tea and toast much more satisfying.
    10th Jul 2017
    4 hour span - do you take a paracetamol at bedtime? It will often give you 4 hours sleep and then its wake up time. Other medications, Prendisones etc are terrible for sleep so is caffeine and alcohol.
    Sleeping alone is soooo good for sleep and so is having a sound proof room with block out curtains.
    Never switch on the light at night not even to go to the toilet. Do not have a clock/watch or any other digit device in the room.
    Finally - have a chat to your brain - "I will not wake up before the sun comes up!"
    Sleep tight :)
    PS Your neighbour is a little boring - I imagine a warm tropical beach where the sand glistens and the palm tree giving me shade gently sways in the breeze as the ocean laps quietly along the shore line. If I can't sleep I am always blissfully smiling!
    10th Jul 2017
    Ocean sounds do seem more sleep enticing than a grey wall, Rosret but...whatever floats your boat.
    10th Jul 2017
    thanks Triss much appreciated. So a high carb diet could perhaps assist continuous sleep. I assume that tea and/or toast are high carb ? Is that right ?? and what other foods make up a high carb diet ??
    Small Tea without sugar seems to help us anyway - to go back to sleep eventually
    Also I think that part about the grey wall is related to meditation but someone may have comment re that ?
    10th Jul 2017
    Yes, johnp, a slice of toast has about 10 -14 carbs depending on the thickness and you can add a few more if you put honey or jam on.
    10th Jul 2017
    I would reckon the grey wall is meditation as well.
    10th Jul 2017
    There is a difference between broken sleep and wakefulness versus stress and life demands. I wonder if the later is a contributing factor.
    10th Jul 2017
    thanks Triss and Rosret for some great suggestions and recommendations; much appreciated.
    Do you recommend anything on the toast ??

    Re the comments about broken sleep and wakefulness etc. Can you explain or expand on the difference between the two ??
    I suppose broken sleep is caused by say an external influence like barking dog or such like ?
    Wakefulness is the body saying it doesnt need more than few hours sleep ??

    I reckon stress and life demands would be contributing factors. Be good to see how if that could be developed further and also maybe by any other contributors.
    11th Jul 2017
    Butter and honey on my nocturnal toast, johnp.
    I've never thought of the difference between broken sleep and wakefulness until Rosret pointed it out. I don't know which mine is, I've just called it broken sleep.
    Anyway tea and toast works for me whichever it is. It will be interesting to see if it works for you and it's tastier than a sleeping pill.
    12th Jul 2017
    thanks Triss
    have some more suggestions
    - an eye mask helps for when dawn begins thru the drapes as in SE Qld without day light saving it starts getting light about 4am in summer
    - also try a drop of lavender on the eye mask
    - radio on at low level, probably music is best
    - or one of those apps relating to meditation on mobile that have the boring stories
    - my wife has same problems as myself but what helps me cos she is a light snorer then I synchronise my breathing with hers and amazing cos it sometimes helps
    12th Jul 2017
    I'll try those, johnp, they sound good, especially the lavender.
    14th Jul 2017
    I go to bed at midnight and wake at 7.30 but lay in till 8am giving me my 8 hours of sleep with little disturbance. I could not think of waking in the wee hours to have tea and toast to get a couple of extra hours of sleep maybe later in older age, I am just a new retiree and maybe still attuned to my work hours.
    15th Jul 2017
    Rosret mentioned "wakefulness" That term is interesting cos it sort of means to me that more than say 4 or 5 hours is not necessary say for those that are mature age. There is no point in worrying about getting more hours sleep once in retirement age if there are feelings of wakefulness after those number of hours and one is still feeling fine most of the day. Does anyone have any more comments on that ??