We all know how important a good night’s sleep can be but you may not be aware that sleeping too little can actually increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. If you didn’t know, Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that can cause forgetfulness. This is due to tau tangles in the brain and an increase in CFS, or cerebral spinal fluid. Recent studies show that a limited amount of sleep can contribute to increased levels of tau.
One study monitored sleep in 119 people who were, for the most part, cognitively healthy. They were monitored for six nights by an EEG device. Those who had the highest levels of tau were not getting as much sleep as those with normal levels. Those with the highest numbers of tau also seemed to nap more which is a telltale sign of poor sleep quality.
The studies seemed to show a distinct correlation between a lack of sleep and Alzheimer’s diseases. Not every person in these studies showed higher levels of tau either way. There are still a lot more questions than answers but it is becoming clear that sleep quality and duration may have a direct link to the disease.
It is also important to note that a lack of sleep can contribute to more than just Alzheimer’s. It can also cause cardiovascular disease, depression, and even diabetes. Those illnesses can also put a person at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
It is always a good idea to do whatever you can to get better sleep. 7-8 hours per night is best. Always try to have a nighttime routine that promotes sleep. It is smart to avoid caffeine and alcohol around bedtime as those two things can cause a poor night’s sleep. Always aim for 7-8 hours of sleep to keep your brain healthy and hopefully avoid any brain-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s in the future.