On a nice day, curl up on the sofa with a big, warm blanket and take a nap. Even better if you have a fireplace to keep you company. Napping is common among older people as part of their overall health regimen—particularly if they don’t sleep well at night. However, according to new research published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, daytime napping and dementia are more linked than previously believed. According to the study, maintaining a regular sleep schedule for lengthy periods of time might raise your risk of developing dementia.
Read on to discover the connection between afternoon naps and dementia.
This study tracked people aged 60 and over for 14 years.
According to a new study, dementia can wreak havoc on portions of your brain via the wake-stimulating neurons. The research, which was carried out by UC San Francisco and Harvard Medical School in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found that dementia may harm parts of your brain through the activation of wake-stimulating neurons. 1,401 older people ranging from 74 to 88 years old were studied for a 14-year duration as part of the Rush Memory and Aging Project in Chicago.
The individuals were wearing a device that recorded their activity. Each time between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. when the subject was non-active was defined as a nap in the data collection. For about two weeks, the participants wore the watch-like gadget around their necks.
Every year, each participant was given a series of neuropsychological tests to evaluate their intellect. At the start of the research, 75.7 percent of those assessed had no cognitive deterioration, 19.5 percent had mild cognitive deterioration, and 4.1 percent had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The research found that those who sleep longer than one hour each day are 40% more likely to acquire Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the study, individuals who sleep more than one hour each day have a 40 percent higher chance of contracting Alzheimer’s disease. Those that slept less than one hour each day or didn’t nap at all had a 40% decreased chance of developing Alzheimer’s over the 14-year period, according to the research. For adults with mild cognitive impairment, daily naps increased by 24 minutes every day during the 14-year span studied. Daily naps for those without cognitive impairment grew by approximately 11 minutes every year.
Many people are unaware of the link between sleep disorders and dementia.
According to Dr. Yue Leng, a co-senior author and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, “We discovered that excessive daytime napping was linked with dementia even after taking into account night-to-night quantity and quality of sleep.” The new study re-confirms the findings of a previous study by Leng in which the risk of cognitive decline increased with two hours’ worth of snoozing each day when compared to taking a nap for less than 1/2 hour.
Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine who was not a part of the research, stated to CNN, “Excessive napping may be one of the numerous indicators that a person is on their way to cognitive decline and should be seen in person by a treating physician.” “That is, a person who has trouble getting out of bed isn’t the same as one who doesn’t want to get up,” says Dr. McKnight-Lyons. “Studies are needed with devices that have been proved to recognize sleep versus sedentary behavior in order to clarify this further. However, being sedentary and not moving for long periods of time is a proven risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Regardless of the cause, falling asleep during the day or taking frequent naps highlights whether the individual may be at greater danger for Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive deterioration.”
Mr. Isaacson said “I believe the public is unaware that Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease that frequently causes changes in mood and sleep behavior.” Anyone who has a substantial increase in their need to nap should see a doctor, he advised.