Recent studies have shown disrupted sleep may be linked to Alzheimer’s from the damage caused from the beta-amyloid protein found in the disease. The research also suggests that sleep problems interact with the Alzheimer’s process, affecting deep sleep patterns that are important for memory formation.
In the study, scans were given to 26 volunteers in their 70s to measure the amyloid. They each were given words to memorize before going to sleep, where their brain waves would be measured.
The results showed that the less sleep the individual had, the more amyloid protein their brain would have, causing them to forget their particular words overnight. Over time, those that had poor sleep quality – tossing and turning – the more likely they were to develop mild cognitive development and early memory problems that could lead to Alzheimer’s.
Sleep apnea causes brief interruptions of breathing that make it difficult to sleep. Because of this awakening, the risk of memory problems and Alzheimer’s increases rapidly. The good news for patients suffering from sleep apnea is there are several treatment options. Some of which involve making simple lifestyle changes to when and how you sleep every night.
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