Alzheimer's and sleep

Alzheimer’s and sleep

As the population ages, the diagnoses related to Alzheimer’s are on the rise. According to, this disease has become the most common neurocognitive disorder among seniors, by far, amounting to between 60 and 80% of all diagnoses. It evolves differently depending on the patients, but remains incurable and is thus regarded as a fatal disease.

If there’s history in your family of Alzheimer’s disease, this does not necessarily mean that you will develop the disease as well. Most cases are sporadic, up to 95%, meaning they’re not hereditary.

In addition, experts say there’s growing evidence to suggest that there’s a link between lack of sleep and Alzheimer’s.  Articles published in the scientific journal, JAMA Neurology, report sleep deficiencies for those affected. Their authors explain that, when we sleep, the brain uses this time to evacuate waste due to the increased flow of cerebrospinal fluid. First affected by this cleanse: Amyloid beta proteins that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In simple terms, scientists believe that people who have trouble sleeping do not achieve this crucial cleanse in their brain.  These experts are currently continuing their research to find further evidence. However, one thing is certain, the problems associated with chronic insomnia are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

Fortunately, research has been able to determine with certainty which modifiable risk factors (thus not related to heredity or genetics) can help to avoid or even delay the disease. So the best advice is: stay active, don’t smoke, limit alcohol intake, wear a helmet when skiing or biking, treat diabetes and high blood pressure.

As for sleep, there’s also a small list of beneficial conditions. Keep your bedroom cool, comfortable, dark and quiet.