Health

Poor sleep could increase the risk of Alzheimer’s new study finds

Yet ANOTHER health problem linked to poor sleep.
Poor sleep

Did you know more than 400,000 Australians are living with dementia at this veryminute?

A sad but all too true fact.

According to Alzheimer’s Australia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and impacts up to 70 percent of all people living with dementia, and can be either sporadic or familial.

It can affect people of any age, but the biggest risk for having Alzheimer’s disease is ageing, itself; the older one gets, the more at risk they are of developing Alzheimer’s.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the sleeplessness epidemic sweeping Australia is having a devastating effect on long-term health, including increasing the risk of contracting a Alzheimer’s, new research finds.

New findings reveal that poor sleep quality is linked to a toxic buildup of proteins which lead to memory loss and Alzheimer’s.

The proteins are known as beta-amyloid and ‘tau tangles’ which develop as toxic clumps and knots in the brain.

Dr Barbara Bendlin, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US, was a scientist/lead author of the study said of the findings,

“Previous evidence has shown that sleep may influence the development or progression of Alzheimer’s disease in various ways.”

“For example, disrupted sleep or lack of sleep may lead to amyloid plaque build-up because the brain’s clearance system kicks into action during sleep.”

“Our study looked not only for amyloid but for other biological markers in the spinal fluid as well.”

Further research must be done to determine if sleep might affect the development of Alzheimer’s or if the disease affects the quality of sleep.

What are some natural sleep remedies?

Magnesium

Magnesium is a muscle relaxant that helps ease anxiety and induces sleep. “It can lower high levels of the stress hormone cortisol so you drift off easier,” naturopath Karina Francois reveals. You can get it from leafy greens, nuts and pumpkin seeds, or take a supplement.

Warm milk

Warm milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which can help boost melatonin and serotonin production. “Put a tasty spin on the remedy by using almond or cashew milk, which is rich in magnesium,” Karina says.

Valerian root

Valerian root is an ancient herb that’s used to treat insomnia. “It acts like a sedative on the brain and nervous system, but you need to take it two hours before bed,” Karina says. “A combination of valerian and magnesium can be particularly helpful.”

Hops

Hops isn’t just an ingredient in beer; the flower is also used to treat sleep disorders. “It can help you relax and is very effective for treating tension,” Karina says.

Lavender

Lavender and its aromatic oil is proven to assist sleep. “It works by reducing muscle tension,” Karina says. “Rub a few drops on your neck, chest or temples.”

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