It’s amazing how a good night’s sleep can rejuvenate the mind, or “rest the little grey cells” as Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famed sleuth, liked to say.
A good night’s sleep does more than rejuvenate you for the next day. It may help protect you against Alzheimer’s disease. Research has begun to show an association between poor sleep and a higher risk of accumulating beta-amyloid protein plaque in the brain, one of the hallmarks of the disease. The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep
“Observational studies have found that adults over age 65 with amyloid plaques in their brain have reduced slow-wave sleep, which is thought to play an important role in memory function, even though these people do not yet show signs of Alzheimer’s, like memory loss and cognitive decline,” says Dr. Brad Dickerson, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. “It may be that quality sleep could play a role in who may get Alzheimer’s.”The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep.
How Losing Memory and Poor Sleep can kill you?
Alzheimer’s disease destroys nerve connections in the brain, making it progressively more difficult to do ordinary things like move around, swallow and feed yourself. Complications of the decline in brain function is what leads to death.
Some facts that will amaze you?
1. Nearly half of adults aged 85 and over have Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Out of approximately 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, more than half may not know they have it.
3. More women than men have Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Early-onset Alzheimer’s can develop in people as young as age 30.
5. In America, a new case of Alzheimer’s develops every 68 seconds; by 2050, the incidence will increase to every 33 seconds.
6. Alzheimer’s is the 6th-leading cause of death in the U.S., and the 5th-leading cause of death in adults aged 65 and over.
7. Over 15 million Americans are unpaid caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
8. Alzheimer’s caregivers have an increased likelihood of physical strain, mental and emotional stress, depression, financial problems, and familial/interpersonal issues.