As we grow older, the best possible scenario becomes a day off work and undisturbed sleep. Afternoon naps become such a reward because we are just so darn tired sometimes.
Here’s the catch.
Researchers have found that sleeping a lot during the day due to lack of quality sleep at night could be symptoms of memory issues, which are signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to research, individuals who are prone to getting Alzheimer’s disease would experience sleep disturbances at night. This happens because of neurons shrinking in certain parts of the brain, the parts which usually help us to get good sleep.
Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s usually do not have quality sleep at night. Hence, they tend to sleep more during the day.
The study titled ‘Alzheimer’s Disease Destroys Neurons That Keep Us Awake‘ (published on 12th August 2019) found that a protein identified as tau affects brain degeneration more directly, which cultivates Alzheimer’s symptoms.
In the study, researchers found that in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, they had a lot of tau accumulation in all three parts of their brains which promote wakefulness. The three parts of the brain they looked at were the “locus coeruleus (LC), lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), and tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN)”. The patients had lost as much as 75 percent of their neurons in those three parts of the brain.
The study found that individuals with Alzheimer’s go through mood swings, and they experience anxiety and depression. They also suffer from lack of quality sleep and sleep disturbances.
The study titled ‘Decreased Deep Sleep Linked To Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease‘ by Lucey, McCullough, Landsness, Toedebusc, McLeland, Zaza, Fagan, McCue, Xiong, Morris, Benzinger & Holtzman discovered that “daytime napping alone was significantly associated with high levels of tau.”
“The people with increased tau pathology were actually sleeping more at night and napping more in the day, but they weren’t getting as good quality sleep,” Lucey added in the study.
Sleep is too important to mess around with. Too much or too little sleep could both lead to problems. Therefore, we should start taking care of ourselves now so that we will be healthier in the long run.