Sleep disorders increase the chances of having Alzheimer’s
People with Alzheimer’s usually live with sleepless nights. This is because this is one of the consequences of the disease, caused by the impaired production of melatonin (sleep regulating hormone).
But a recent study by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine, USA, warns that poor sleep quality may also be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
To reach this conclusion, the survey counted on the participation of 119 people with an average of 60 years old or more. Of these, 80% had normal cognitive ability and the remainder had a small impairment of function.
These participants used a portable electroencephalogram (EEG) device for a week in order to measure brain waves while sleeping. In addition, they received a sensor to monitor body movement during the night. The volunteers also took notes throughout the study to record sleep data, be it night or day.
The scientists then measured the levels of two proteins in these people: tau and beta-amyloid, both present in the brain.
Tau protein is found in neurons and, under certain conditions, can accumulate in the brain with another protein (beta-amyloid), which can cause brain damage and cognitive decline. In Alzheimer’s patients, this substance is found at high levels.
In the test done by the researchers it was observed that people who have less amount of slow wave sleep (that deep sleep you need to wake up refreshed) have high levels of tau. Some dozed during the day and slept at night, but the fact is that the quality of sleep was poor.
Therefore, for the researchers, the chances of the disease may be related not only to the time slept, but also to the quality of those hours.
Waking up rested and feeling that your night’s sleep was great is a good sign for the prevention of numerous diseases. Therefore, you need to be aware of the time you sleep and the changes in your sleep.