Not getting enough sleep could increase your risk of Alzheimer's

Researchers may help explain why why poor sleep in middle age has been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease

In the study that analyzed poor sleepers, however, it's impossible to say whether poor sleep caused the increase in Alzheimer's markers or whether the fact that these individuals' brains were changing is what caused them to have poor sleep.

JUST one night of disturbed sleep increases levels of a brain protein linked to Alzheimer's, research has shown. She spoke to NBC News about her work.

Bendlin did note that, "It's still unclear if sleep may affect the development of the disease or if the disease affects the quality of sleep". Fecteau is the program manager of the Maine Sleep Institute.

These are all treatable and can help you get the recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

The group filled out sleep questionnaires, and half were selected at random to have disrupted sleep during a sleep study, CBS News reported.

In the study, 17 healthy men and women aged 35 to 65 years took part in two sets of procedures, about a month apart.

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The team is now investigating whether treating obstructive sleep apnea - which is associated with multiple sleep interruptions each night, as well as an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and much earlier dementia onset - can reduce levels of amyloid beta and tau, and potentially Alzheimer's risk. "The worse your sleep quality, the more your tau increased", said Ju.

Now researchers say that poor sleep quality, and disruption of the deep, restful sleep known as slow-wave sleep, both play a key role.

"Effective interventions are available to treat causes of poor sleep, so identifying and treating sleep disturbances in preclinical [Alzheimer's disease] may be a critical strategy to prevent or delay impending cognitive decline", they wrote.

Each time the participants drifted into deep sleep, a beeping monitor would rouse them out of it and into lighter sleep. "Our study looked not only for amyloid but for other biological markers in the spinal fluid as well". However, the people who reported not sleeping well, having sleep problems, or feeling sleepy during the day had more biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease in their cerebrospinal fluid.

Sleep expert Dr. Douglas Kirsch of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says too many restless nights can lead to a variety of health issues.

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