How widespread is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is all too common in Exton and across the country. It affects around 5.8 million Americans and becomes more likely the older you get; about one in 10 people aged 65 and older in Pennsylvania have dementia or Alzheimer’s. There is no cure, but new research shows sleep—the deeper, the better—might help ward off the disease.
The Health Benefits of Sleep
There is little doubt that sleep is essential to your overall physical and mental health. It improves alertness and decreases your odds of experiencing everything from accidents and injuries to memory impairment, poor concentration, skin conditions and obesity.
How does sleep relate to Alzheimer’s disease?
A new study published in the November 1 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Science found that sleep plays an important role in cognition and memory consolidation. Deep sleep in particular helps rid the brain of toxins that can cause Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive form of dementia that impacts memory, thinking and behavior.
During non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, cerebrospinal fluid is generated; this helps remove metabolic waste products from the brain.
How much more likely is alzheimer’s disease when sleep quality is low?
This isn’t the first study to establish a link between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. Previous research, including a 2018 JAMA Neurology study, found that the likelihood of cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease is 1.68 times higher in people who have sleep problems.
An estimated 15 percent of people with Alzheimer’s in Exton can directly attribute their condition to sleep dysfunction.
What does poor sleep do to the body?
The cumulative effects of poor sleep add up over time, but even just one night spent tossing and turning causes your blood pressure to rise—and it remains higher than normal the following day. Experts believe this helps explain the correlation between poor sleep and an increase in heart attacks and strokes.
What does quality sleep do for the body?
Sleep is important, but deep, quality sleep is best for long-term health. It allows the body to activate chemicals that lower heart rate and blood pressure. Certain sleep disorders like sleep apnea can disrupt your ability to enter deep sleep.
How can you get a better night’s sleep?
To help ensure a good night’s sleep, your Exton ear, nose and throat specialist recommends sleeping in a darkened room, keeping the thermostat set to 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit, and avoiding electronic devices close to bedtime; the blue light from their screens mimics sunlight and fools your body into thinking it should stay awake. If you wake up regularly during the night you may have an undiagnosed sleeping disorder.
What other steps help prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
Good sleep isn’t the only ingredient in reducing your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Keeping physically and mentally active will help boost your cognitive health.
If you have hearing loss, be sure to wear hearing aids; according to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, individuals over the age of 65 who are diagnosed with hearing loss and treat it with hearing aids are less likely to be diagnosed with dementia or depression, or suffer a fall-related injury, in the three-year period after they begin wearing hearing aids.
For more tips on getting a good night’s sleep, reach out to an ENT doctor in Exton today.
Learn More About Sleep Disorders
- Sleep Apnea Linked to Affective Disorders in Pennsylvania
- Signs You Have a Sleep Disorder
- Snoring: Nothing to Joke About
Exton, PA ENT Office Locations
460 Creamery Way #103
Exton, PA 19341