What Is The Relation Between Sleep And Alzheimer’s Disease?

Relation Between Sleep And Alzheimer's Disease

There is a two-way relationship between sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. The person who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease has a disturbance in sleep-wake cycles. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s is a disease characterized as losing the ability to think, learn, and function properly. Behavior changes and a decline in memory storage are also diagnosed in Alzheimer’s disease. Poor sleep is an early sign of Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Alzheimer’s contributes to 60-80% of memory loss and impaired mental functions.
Good sleep can refresh your mind and body while a bad one makes you frustrated and angry. A person should sleep eight hours daily for a relaxed and healthy lifestyle. According to experts, 40% of Alzheimer’s patients wake up at night because their sleep cycle is disturbed. In Alzheimer’s disease, a person has a low duration or absence of slow-wave sleep. His sleep cycle does not complete, as he is repeatedly disturbed during sleep. Slow-wave sleep is the deep and quality sleep a person can have. Less slow-wave sleep leads to impaired mental function, affecting our memory and dreaming process.
Poor sleep is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Neurons in the human brain work in coordination to communicate information in all parts of our body. Learning, thinking, remembering all are due to neurons signaling. This coordination of neurons is also necessary for controlling sleep-wake cycles. In Alzheimer’s disease, nerve cells are damaged or killed, resulting in the improper functioning of nerve cells.

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Alzheimer’s disease is associated with the presence of two proteins in the brain. Lack of adequate sleep increases the concentration of these proteins forming abnormal structures in the brain. These structures form with two proteins. One is beta-Amyloid; the accumulation of this protein leads to plaque formation. Second is tau protein, twisted structures of this protein lead to the development of tangles. These plaques and tangles kill and destroy the functioning of nerve cells by blocking their pathways. The blockage of nerve cell passage affects the sleep-wake cycle ultimately, developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Beta-amyloid is the metabolic waste product found in the brain. When this waste product accumulates in the brain, it results in impaired brain function. A study found that sleep helps in clearing beta-amyloid from the brain, so its further accumulation does not form plague in the brain. If a person does not have eight-hour quality sleep, this toxin remains in the brain, so the person does not feel fresh and active.
Alarming signs for Alzheimer’s are short-term memory loss, not being able to figure out what is the date today, often misplacing daily routine things, lack of planning and interest, struggling with a conversation, and changing patterns of sleep.
At night, Individuals with Alzheimer’s face difficulty in proper sleep they wake up frequently during sleep. Day time nap is very common in Alzheimer’s patients; they feel dizziness in the morning.
Sleeping pills are not recommended to a person until sleep deprivation is very severe. Treatment through medications does not seem very affected, as Alzheimer’s does not cure able in most cases. No therapy can completely prevent, recover, or slow down the progressively worsening disease. So, a person suffering from sleep deprivation should have quality sleep, a healthy diet, and maintain a balance in daily routine activities.
Individuals with a lack of sleep pay less attention to their surroundings. They have reduced learning, remembering, and problem-solving abilities. In simple words, lack of sleep can promote Alzheimer’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease can lead an individual to sleep disturbances. The situation worsens by time, and people find themselves confused and burdened.

Until Next Time,

Team Doctor ASKY!


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