Did you know that the amount and quality of your sleep could help you prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease? The connection between not getting enough sleep and developing Alzheimer’s disease has been noted by researchers across the country and is gaining traction as scientists make headway into understanding the brain chemistry associated with Alzheimer’s.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is a serious condition that worsens over time and causes the loss of memory and other bodily functions. Approximately 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This statistic means that one in nine Americans aged 65 and older are afflicted with this debilitating disease.
Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s:
Some of the main signs that you or a loved one may be developing Alzheimer’s include:
- Memory loss that interferes with your daily life
- Diminished vocabulary in speaking or writing
- Decreased ability to solve problems or make plans
- Greater tendency to misplace things
- Increased trouble keeping track of time and space
- Greater difficulty in distinguishing spatial information and visual images
- Decreased ability to complete ordinary tasks
- Questionable judgment
- Antisocial behavior such as withdrawal from people or hobbies
- Drastic changes in personality
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America, and according to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 also suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s, making these warning signs even more important to understand.
Amid this grim news of such a devastating disease, there is hope in recent research that has made breakthroughs in understanding Alzheimer’s and how to possibly prevent it. One of the easiest but perhaps most important steps you can take is by consistently getting a good night’s sleep.
How Sleep Is Linked to Alzheimer’s
In studying the brains of those with Alzheimer’s, researchers discovered that the singular distinction in those brains was greater amounts of plaque and neurofibrillary tangles. A substance called beta-amyloid creates this plaque, so a goal for many researchers has been to figure out how to reduce beta-amyloid in the brain. According to Dr. Holtzman of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, sleep deprivation increases a person’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s because the brain has higher levels of beta-amyloid when it is awake. To reduce the levels of beta-amyloid in your brain and thereby lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, you should be sure to get enough sleep on a regular basis. When the brain is asleep, it has lower levels of beta-amyloid in the brain. An increase in amyloid is shown to lead to more plaque in the brain that is associated with Alzheimer’s.
At Silent Night Therapy, our dedicated team of sleep experts can help you address any issues you may have that are preventing you from the good night’s rest you deserve. In our hectic society of ever-present technology, sleep can be more elusive than ever. Thanks to recent research, though, we know that sleep is not a luxury but a necessity for optimum health. Call us today at (631) 983-2463 to start getting the sleep your body needs for a long and healthy life.