Decreased deep sleep linked to early signs of Alzheimer's disease

Study suggests that people who have fewer hours of deep sleep are more likely to show early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, says:

'Although this small study implies that older people who have fewer hours of deep sleep are more likely to have changes in their brain – it doesn’t tell us if poor sleep is the cause of these changes. Or if it could in fact be an early symptom of Alzheimer’s.'

'We know there’s a link between sleep and dementia, but there’s still a lot to learn about this relationship. Our researchers are delving not only into the importance of quality versus quantity of shut eye, but also what happens in our brains when we get a good night’s rest.

'It’s too soon to say if trying to change our sleep habits might affect our chances of developing dementia, but there’s good evidence that being physically active and eating healthily can reduce the risk. So try to choose an apple over the packet of crisps, and get out as much as possible.'

Sleep and dementia risk

People with dementia often have issues with sleep with their memory seemingly worse after a bad night. However, the evidence is unclear on whether poor sleep is a risk factor for dementia.

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