Eight hours of sleep may be crucial to preventing Alzheimer’s

By Kevin Woo

What time are you going to bed tonight? The answer probably will depend on a number of things you have to do before bedtime: clean up around the house, answer some emails, or maybe prepare for that big meeting in the morning.

By the time you help the kids with their homework and get them settled for the evening, yours might just be getting started.

Researchers at the Washington School of Medicine say that lack of sleep might be tied to Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent study monitored 100 people, ages 45-80, and discovered that those who woke up several times through the night were more likely to have amyloid plaque accumulations on their brains.

Dr. Yo-El Ju, a Washington University neurologist, said,”We were initially looking at duration of sleep, but it seems the quality of sleep is more important to this association.  We don’t know if early Alzheimer’s is causing poor sleep or vice versa. It’s possible that there’s some change in brain activity going on during sleep that allows soluble amyloid to decrease overnight.”

Now, what time are you going to bed tonight?

7 Replies to “Eight hours of sleep may be crucial to preventing Alzheimer’s”

  1. If you think about how unfocused we are and the difficulties we have learning or remembering when we miss a night’s sleep – this makes perfect sense. Also at night when we sleep our bodies are awake – repairing themselves and strengthening our immune system. A good night’s sleep prevents many diseases – not just dementia.

  2. Hi my name is Ken and I am new here

    I have Lewy body dementia, and tend to spend more time awake that I do sleeping at night .
    My problem is due to very graphic nightmares and dreams, so I don’t tend to sleep well at night.
    On the other hand if I am very tired during the day due to lack of sleep at night, I can usually drop off after lunch for around half an hour, during which time I am dead to the world, and nothing will wake me up.
    I have been told not to sleep during the day as its bad for us, but what else can you do when you can not sleep at night.
    I know that sleep is good for us at night, but it’s a long time since I slept well like that.

    1. Hi Ken
      I am so glad you are joining us here. this is my thoughts on sleep. Many may not agree so take them as they are. I think you need to grab sleep when your body allows it! It’s not like you are trying to stay awake all night. Many in my opinion suggest you shouldn’t sleep in the afternoon and I believe there can be two reasons for this.
      1) suggests if we sleep during the day we won’t sleep at night. I can tell you for myself (and I don’t have dementia) if my body is tired it will sleep at both times if I let it!
      2) more often I find people say don’t sleep during the day as it will make their life, the care takers easier. They want to sleep through the night and if the one they are caring for is up or wandering then it disrupts their sleep. I understand this rationale but I don’t feel it is fair when someone is not able to control their sleeping habits.

      Have you considered being tested for your sleep habits? Many do find a curable situation for this, others do not and find it is part of this unexplainable disease.

      For me and my advice, I say sleep when your body tells you. By fighting our bodies needs I think we can do more damage. Who is it harming if you sleep during the afternoon for a bit anyways? I have several friends in their 50-60’s who love taking a cat nap mid day. They believe it allows them to be more attentive and connected afterwards.

      You may also want to check out two groups on facebook which a lot of people with dementia belong. It might be interesting to pose your question there as well.
      1) Memory People
      2) Forget Me Not
      You may also want to become friends on facebook with Dena Dotson and Norrms McNamara; both have Lewy Body Dementia as well.

      I look forward to your thoughts.


  3. Thank you for your thoughts. I am already a member of Memory People on face book, and got quite a lot out of it.

    I have seen a specialist about my sleep patterns and they think it is all connected to my Lew Body Dementia, so I just have to try to work around it.
    But even after around half and hour I feel as if I have been asleep for a week, so I will carry on doing this.

    Thank you so much for your support


    1. HI Ken
      What you are experiencing is very common with Lewy Body. I have not heard of any answers for this but if I do I will be sharing it on the blog… that is for sure. Please do the same.


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