Sleep issues? Take action now!
Quality sleep – we know, you’ve often heard us talk about how important it is! Now, even more research has captured our attention about the need for promptly addressing any concerns.
Scientists in examining data from over 1,400 participants in the Rush Memory and Aging Project found that there may be a “bidirectional relationship” between excessive daytime napping and dementia.1 The Rush Memory and Aging Project was initiated in 1997 to “to identify factors associated with the maintenance of cognitive health despite the accumulation of AD (Alzheimer’s disease) and other pathology.”
The review’s authors noted several key points in the methodology and findings:
Thus, it would appear that there is some bidirectional relationship and common pathophysiology that exists between excessive napping and dementia. Additional research is certainly needed in order to better understand the relationship in developing interventions.
“Why am I so tired?!”
Certainly, our history of overwhelmed lifestyles has impacted the quality of sleep for almost all people, even in the absence of an identified health condition. Stress, lack of exercise, poor dietary choices, overuse of technology devices especially at night, and other factors contribute to negative sleep patterns.
Sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing, discussed in detail in our previous blog, can put our brains at risk for Alzheimer’s and other neurological impairments. From decreased vascular supply to a reduction in gray matter, sleep disorders are nothing to ignore! Even if you think you’re sleeping an ample number of hours, you may not actually be getting true quality rest if your natural sleep cycles are constantly disturbed by the effects of apnea or disordered breathing. And you don’t necessarily need to have one of these or another specific condition – turning and tossing all night, repeated waking from too much caffeine late in the day or a heavy meal right before bedtime can all rob you of a sound night’s slumber.
Don’t let your concerns about fatigue and poor sleep keep you up at night – talk to your physician for ways to combat the problem with appropriate therapies, meditation, and more. And give your brain the beauty sleep it needs to stay healthy and happy!
In hope and healing,
Dr. Suzanne Gazda
References and additional reading:
1 Li, P, Gao, L, Yu, L, et al. Daytime napping and Alzheimer's dementia: A potential bidirectional relationship. Alzheimer's Dement. 2022; 1– 11. https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12636
Dr. Suzanne Gazda, Integrative Neurology