People are always shocked when they learn about how much their habits, especially habits from youth, affect their current and future health. Sleeping is no exception.
A different set of habits creates specific outcomes and unique sleeping patterns that can affect the quality of life in general. One of the things that are related to sleeping habits is dementia risk.
It is often seen that people with dementia have issues with sleep. People with dementia experience issues with their memory when they had a bad night a.k.a night with low quality sleep.
However, the evidence is still unclear on whether the poor or less great sleep is a true risk factor when it comes for dementia.
But, without any doubt, there is a link between dementia and sleep.
Sleep Dementia Risk
This is probably one of the most difficult and complicated topics, as various types of dementia are associated with different sleeping issues.
However, researchers are not yet sure how the interaction between sleep and dementia goes – whether dementia leads to poor sleep, or poor sleep leads somehow to dementia, or strengthen it.
One thing is for sure – more research is necessary to truly understand this relationship.
Understanding Sleep Dementia Risk
Understanding dementia by itself is challenging and complicated. Dementia causes a set of problems that are intertwined.
Some of the problems include memory loss, difficulties in communicating, strong confusion and even challenges walking around.
Further issues may be connected with recognizing people, like close friends and even family members.
No two people can understand each other’s dementia truly, because each person is entirely different and individual.
Anti-aging is not dealing against wrinkles with expensive creams, but fighting to keep a fresh and strong mind and body.
But, you would be surprised how the most impactful way to keep your mind fresh and your body strong, actually doesn’t cost anything, it’s entirely free – a solid night of sleep can postpone any mental effects of getting older.
Dementia patients often transmit the symptoms of sleep apnea, like snoring or temporary loss of breath during sleep. Often, sleep apnea is linked to severe dementia and vice versa.
Insomnia is often seen as a sign of dementia, as a problem sleep can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s.
Sleeping habits are crucial for high-quality sleep. How you act before you go to sleep is what will determine your next day.
If you stay longer awake surfing the net, the chances are that you will get up grumpy, with less energy, and you could be nervous even the following day.
On the other hand, if you go to bed only when you are truly tired and you don’t interact with any of electronic devices at least 2 hours before your sleep, the chances are that you will have a firm and good sleep, followed with good dreams because they are also responsible for our modd.
You need to re-focus your energy on good sleep and not on more likes on social networks.
What Are The Sleep Habits That Can Raise Your Dementia Risk?
Small things that we usually take for granted are the things that cost us the most. Especially in our youth, like not having enough sleep.
Some habits can suggest that you are risking of hitting that dementia pool, and you should be able to recognize them and do anything that’s in your power to fix them, or even better, prevent them. These include:
1. You Don’t Have A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Not following and respecting your sleeping cycle is what puts you in high risk of being dementia patient. Being consistent is what makes half health.
Therefore, make sure to maintain regular circadian patterns. You should be able to get up and go to sleep at the same time.
Setting alarm always at the same time can be challenging and different at first, but it’s still one of the best ways to keep going on a healthy track.
2. You Don’t Spend Enough Time Outside
Not spending time outside can reflect on your health, sleeping habits and quality of your life overall.
Exposure to natural sunlight can help you to have steady circadian rhythm and even reduce the effects of sleep disorders.
Fresh air and daily activity is something that should be your daily routine. It helps your brain and body to stay active.
Some people call their time outside ‘sun therapy’, as they spend at least 15 minutes outside doing nothing and just soaking the sun and giving much-needed energy back to their body.
3. Sleeping in
Hitting snooze button is acting against your health on a long run. Practise showed that to much sleep has a negative effect on memory.
People who sleep on a daily base more than nine or even ten hours have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This is a result of comparing with people that sleep six or seven hours.
Aim to reach the amount of sleep recommended for your age, meaning 7-9 hours for adults ages 26 to 64, or 7 to 8 hours for adults ages 65 and older)
4. Low-quality Diet
Balanced and nutritious diet is essential for any person in order to be truly healthy. However, we have a tendency of forgetting the basics.
If your diet is not rich in vitamins, and you intake a huge amount of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and you smoke above all that, the chances are that you will have a lack of vitamins in your body which will lead to disbalance of hormones and unequal distribution of strength within your organism.
On the other hand, if your diet is rich in calcium you will trigger melatonin and induce sleepiness, which will lead to higher blood pressure and sleepiness.
You should avoid excessive amounts of food, especially food which is hard to digest.
5. Not Having A Healthy Sleep Space
Creating and maintaining a healthy sleep environment is crucial for good sleep. Having a space that’s especially organized for sleeping purposes ads up to your life quality.
Having a bedroom that’s designed to support your sleep is crucial in today’s rush and fast lifestyle.
On the other hand, if your bedroom contains a TV and stereo set, laptop on your night cabin and charger for your phone next to your bedside, you just might be in the problem.
Make your room to support your sleep and not to disturb it.
Remove all unnecessary electronics and keep your room in dark as much as possible and quiet during normal sleep times. Also, make sure that your blinds are down and adjust the temperature – don’t make it too hot, or too cold.
Sleep Without Interruptions
As well, having a sleep without interruptions is important. Whether interruptions are caused by a loud neighbor, electronic devices, or even hard snoring partner, try to minimalize the noise and disruptions overall by using blackout curtains or white noise machine. Furthermore, learn how to stop snorring.
Also, you can use a sleep tracker in order to get better insights on your sleep, and how much you are actually sleeping.
Certainly, disrupted sleep can add to poor memory and a cognitive downturn, while nighttime awakenings could be an indicator that you are already affected by dementia. Increased naping is usually connected with Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, if you can’t avoid napping time, learn how to power nap.
In reality, the best way to know for sure is to check with your doctor and to know for sure how your health beings stand.
FAQ About Dementia and Sleep
Does Dementia Affect Sleep?
The brain worsening associated with many forms of dementia can affect the way the brain sleeps.
This can lead to less deep-sleep time, and often awake time at night. Sleep-related disorders are usually common in aging.
Does Lack of Sleep Cause Dementia?
There is no final research on this question. However, there is a link between Alzheimer’s and sleep deprivation.
If you are neglecting your sleep for many years you may put yourself at higher risk for dementia, or at least for some form of dementia.
Therefore, sleep deprivation may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, as the sleep issues are a common component of this disease.
Is Insomnia An Early Sign of Dementia?
No, insomnia is a warning sign of dementia.
What Are The First Signs of Dementia?
The very first sign of Dementia is a memory loss that can disrupt your daily life. Memory loss may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
Furthermore, Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that leads to a slow decline in thinking, memory and reasoning skills. Science acknowledges 10 warning signs and symptoms.
Does Sleep Prevent Alzheimer’s?
Many types of research are showing the link between poor sleep and a high risk of collecting beta-amyloid protein plaque in the brain, which is one of the diseases marks.
Can Too Much Sleep Cause Dementia?
Records have shown that people who sleep for more than nine hours each night, had even six times the risk of developing dementia in a period of 10 years.
The best way to make sure that your sleep and dementia don’t meet is to create and maintain healthy sleeping habits, that will lead to the balance in your life overall.
If you are worried that you may be suffering from any kind of dementia, the best and the fastest way to be sure of that is to check with your doctor and to have regular check-ups.