The Relation Between Sleep and Dementia

Research shows that parents with infants and toddlers have a significant problem ensuring enough sleep. Therefore, getting on a good sleep schedule is essential; getting adequate sleep prevents cranky and non-cooperative children.

As people grow and age, they worry less about the amount of sleep and are more focused on the quality of their sleep. However, getting adequate sleep is vital for all ages. Continue reading to learn how not getting enough sleep can create health problems and discover the correlation between lack of sleep and dementia.

It is no secret that not getting enough sleep can leave anyone feeling foggy and out of sorts. However, sleep deprivation has been associated with high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke, diabetes, depression, obesity, and even heart attacks. Studies show that people in their 50s and 60s who slept six hours or less at night are more likely to develop dementia.

Many diseases fall under the dementia umbrella, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. However, dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning. It interferes with a person’s thinking, reasoning, and memory.

Why Has Lack of Sleep Been Related to Dementia?

There are many reasons for lack of sleep in middle-age. Some of those include anxiety, dealing with adult children’s problems, work, and plain old insomnia. Research now shows that inadequate sleep during midlife raises the risk of dementia. Scientists and doctors have realized that the lack of sleep has strong ties to the brain processes that may develop into dementia.

It discovered that even missing sleep for one night can increase chemicals in your brain that play a role in developing dementia. That means that ignoring rest for months or years can increase the risk of developing dementia. While lack of sleep doesn’t determine that you will get dementia, getting enough sleep is an easy preventative measure.

What Can a Person Do to Improve Sleep on Their Own?

When a person has chronic insomnia, their first thought likely is to find ways to treat it themselves. For some, that means taking melatonin and taking a sleep aid for others. However, there are many remedies for a person with chronic insomnia. Some of those tips include:

Try to stay active during the day

If you work in an office and bar at a desk most of the day, get up and move around. Taking a break away from your keyboard and desk every 40 minutes will help keep your blood moving and keep you active.

Stick to a sleep schedule

Create a schedule that allows you to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, including weekends. That means keeping a consistent time to go to bed at night and wake up in the morning.

Avoid taking naps

Taking a nap can cause you to be more alert at night than your body, so avoid naps or make them a 10-minute power nap.

Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime

These can spike your sugar levels and create energy that your body doesn’t need before bed. For example, if you need a snack or beverage before bed, make it something light like a piece of fruit or crackers and a cup of decaffeinated tea or water.

Seeing a Professional for Sleep Problems

Although there are more options for a person to try on their own, sometimes it is necessary to seek a professional about your chronic sleep problems. They get trained to pick up on issues that will help you get better sleep. Some of those could be snoring or sleep apnea.

Using state-of-the-art technology, these professionals treat sleep problems with innovative solutions that are seemingly out of the box. That includes seeing a snoring dentist who considers alternatives to the CPAC since many people misuse them. Instead, these snoring dentists specialize in orthodontics and oral appliances for patients who suffer from chronic lack of sleep because they snore.

As you have read, people of every age need adequate sleep. Those in their 50s and 60s who don’t get sufficient sleep or more are at risk for dementia. However, there are solutions for those who suffer from chronic lack of sleep, and a few suggestions are listed above.