Recent studies have shown that getting plenty of quality sleep can help prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. It is a well-known fact that sleeping is necessary for proper brain health as it gives the organ an opportunity to rest and recharge. But did you know that while you are sleeping, the brain also processes memories and thoughts from the day? And because Alzheimer’s is a memory loss disease, one can see how the lack of quality sleep might affect your brain negatively. Getting Good Sleep fights Alzheimers
What links sleep and Alzheimer’s disease is a formation of protein fragments referred to as A-beta plaques. Researches have observed that a high amounts of the A-beta plaque yielded a greater risk of the development of Alzheimer’s in the subject. Those who did not get enough sleep or slept poorly had an increased amount of the plaque in their brains. In fact, a study in 2017 showed that poor sleepers had an approximately 68% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s in comparison to those who were well rested.
Sleep is a way for the brain to clean out all the “waste” that accumulates throughout the day, which includes A-beta plaques. Some neurologists believe that Alzheimer’s is an issue that stems from the waste not being cleaned up properly. Less sleep means that the brain doesn’t get enough time to clean up all the A-beta plaques, leading to it accumulating between the brain cells. Eventually, too much plaque results in inflammation and buildup of the tau protein, which can destroy neurons and thus lead to the development of Alzheimer’s.
Taking sleep more seriously can be incredibly beneficial for improved brain health and preventing Alzheimer’s. And it is not only the amount of sleep one gets that is important, but the quality of sleep as well. Sleep that is interrupted throughout the night can be just as harmful for the brain as not getting enough sleep. All the more reason to take that afternoon nap or sleep in for a couple extra hours!
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