Most people don’t know that the way you sleep can increase or decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to track your sleeping patterns to make sure your maintaining healthy habits. Establishing a positive sleeping routine can be beneficial in warding off Alzheimer’s disease.
Read the following unhealthy habits to avoid:
What Can You Do to Avoid Alzheimer’s?
Don’t Pull All Nighters
In a study done by Science Magazine, eight volunteers got a full night’s sleep then stayed awake for 36 hours. After one night of not sleeping the participants showed a 51.5% increase in the brain protein, tau. This protein has been linked to Alzheimer’s, showing up in parts of the brain associated with memory. In another experiment done with mice, the sleep-deprived ones had twice the amount of tau as well-rested mice.
Get Your Sleep Apnea Under Control
If you’re constantly snoring it could mean that you have sleep apnea. This is a disorder causing people to stop breathing intermittently throughout the night. A study was conducted by the American Academy of Neurology, suggesting that people with sleep apnea have higher levels of tau in the area of the brain that aids in memory.
288 people took part in the study, ages 65 and older, showing that those who had sleep apnea had 4.5% higher levels of tau in the brain compared to those who didn’t’ have sleep apnea. If you question whether or not you have sleep apnea see a doctor. It causes a lack of oxygen to the brain, increasing the risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Stop with the Sleeping Medication
If people have trouble falling asleep night after night you might feel inclined to get medicine from their doctor for help. Although, certain sleeping aids can do more harm than good when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease.
Using sleeping drugs, such as benzodiazepines, for a long amount of time can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. If signs of Alzheimer’s are already showing, serious sleep issues can develop. Also, the use of sedatives can be a risk because of the increased chance of falls and confusion.
Cutout the Naps
Taking naps during the day can disrupt your sleep cycle at night, increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s. A disrupted sleep-wake cycle can cause your circadian rhythm to go out of sync. People who have early signs of Alzheimer’s all had disrupted sleep-wake cycles.
If you make up for lousy sleep at night by regularly sneaking catnaps during the day, you may be at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s. A disrupted sleep-wake cycle at night can disrupt your body’s internal clock—circadian rhythm.
Try to Get Enough Deep Sleep
If you get less slow-wave sleep—the deep sleep you need to consolidate memories and wake up feeling refreshed—you may have higher levels of the brain protein tau. The study authors point out that being unable to reach deep sleep could either raise Alzheimer’s risk or be an early sign of the disease.
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