At the moment, I do not sleep well. I feel like I’m forever chasing sleep. I’m tired, exhausted, but I can’t sleep!
Sleep deprivation causes major mental and health problems; this is a fact. So, the ability to sleep is a vital component of living well.
I believe that poor quality sleep, over a long period, maybe decades, can contribute to the development of Dementia-related symptoms. A comment I hear, ‘I don’t sleep well, but don’t know why and think it is my Dementia.’ So, this seems to raise the Chicken or Egg question; which comes first? If there is a correlation between sleep and Dementia, then surely, research should be able to find it?
I know that Margaret Thatcher, a past Prime Minister of the UK, was renowned for only needing four hours of sleep. She certainly suffered a stroke and Dementia in later life.
I’ve just read an article on the latest research I could find regards to sleep and Dementia. The study concluded that ‘Getting less than five hours of sleep a night can double your risk of developing Dementia!’
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston looked at data from 2,812 US adults aged 65 and over.
‘Very short’ sleep duration, defined as five hours or less, doubled the risk of Dementia compared to the ‘recommended’ period of seven to eight hours, they found.
The study backs up previous research that too little sleep essentially ‘sets the stage’ for forms of Dementia like Alzheimer’s.
While this study didn’t look at the reason behind the link, they state that a lack of proper sleep may prevent the brain from clearing out the toxins that trigger an ongoing decline in brain function. This is the Glymphatic system I explained in an earlier posting.
A sample of 2,610 participants, from a study by the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) USA, answered sleep questionnaires in 2013 and 2014, which covered several sleep disturbance characteristics and deficiency. They were asked to rate their own quality of sleep on a five-point scale from ‘very poor’ to ‘very good.’
Five years after the study, a follow up was cared out to look at health, death and Dementia.
Overall, they found a strong relationship between sleep disturbance and deficiency and Dementia and overall risk of death, over time.
Often what happens in the day, can have an impact on how we sleep at night. Such as, maintaining alertness, how many of us find ourselves nodding off during the day, watching telly, or after that meal? Would it be better to try and stop this from happening?
Lot’s of people are on medication to help sleep, but does this really help? I don’t think so! My medication seems to deprive me of sleep. They do knock me out, but this is not sleeping, this is Anaesthesia! The brain does not work as it should in this state. This is a significant reason for my determination to come off as many prescribed drugs as possible.
What do you do to help you sleep? I try to follow a routine of going to bed at the same time. I think this may help the brain habitualise my sleeping pattern.
There seem to be loads of ideas to help us sleep, from listening to Delta Waves, drumming our hands on the side of our legs, reading, having a cold room, and the list goes on.
I’ve heard people have warm milk, herbal tea, or even the scent of lavender oil. I would like to know what you do and what works and what doesn’t!
I would like to know why you think you don’t sleep well, or again, why you do if you do?
I would also like to hear from the families of any of the well-known people who suffered and died of Dementia.
Well-known people get noticed, far more than anyone like me, and that is why I’m asking for their help!
I want to ask them a simple question that may shed some light on this issue and get more done to research this.
How did your loved one, sleep before the signs and symptoms were there?
How did they sleep after you knew?
Please comment on anything I have said. Thank You!
Categories: Dementia Related Post