|Start good sleeping habits young!|
A preliminary study being presented this month and reported in Web MD suggests that the poorer your sleep, the more likely you may be to develop Alzheimer's disease.
"We found that if people had a lot of awakenings during the night, more than five awakenings in an hour, they are more likely to have preclinical Alzheimer's disease," says researcher Yo-El Ju, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Preclinical Alzheimer's disease is the term given to people who have normal mental skills but show brain changes associated with the degenerative disorder.
One hundred men and women aged 45-80, free of dementia at the study start, half with a family history of Alzheimer's disease were studied.
About 25% had evidence of pre-clinical Alzheimer's disease. Those who woke up most frequently, more than five times an hour, were more likely than the others to have these abnormal biomarkers.
Animal studies have found that sleep changes drive the accumulation of amyloid, which cause the plaques associated with Alzheimer's.
The importance of getting a good night's sleep has been increasingly shown as important. I am not sure if improving your sleep habits reduces any other predisposition to the disease. The lack of sleep may increase brain inflammation and that could be one association with the disease.
In any case, try to improve your sleep habits. Here are some tips.