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Practice good sleep habits, bring down your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's disease can be traumatic for both patients and caregivers. To bring down your risk of this condition, you need to develop the right sleep habits.

Poor sleep is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, says a study at Washington University School of Medicine. Researchers may have discovered for why poor sleep is linked to Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common cause of dementia among the elderly. According to researchers, older people who have less slow-wave sleep, the deep sleep you need to consolidate memories and wake up feeling refreshed, have higher levels of the brain protein tau. Elevated tau is a sign of Alzheimer's disease and has been linked to brain damage and cognitive decline, they say.

In light of the findings of this study, we can safely say that if you can improve your sleep habits, you may significantly bring down your risk of Alzheimer's. Let us take a look at a few steps that you can take to do this.

Avoid all-nighters

Do you often stay up late, watching your favourite show or to finish some important work. Many times, you may not even have realised that you were up till morning. This is not good for your brain health. Stayin g up all night can trigger the growth of the brain protein called tau in parts of the brain that is responsible for memory. This is a common feature in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

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Get your sleep apnea treated

This is a condition where you may breathing intermittently during the night. Experts say that if you have this condition, you may have more tau in the area of the brain that aids memory. This increases your risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. If you snore or have difficulty sleeping, consult a doctor and get this condition under control.

Sleep on your side

For a healthy brain to keep dementia at bay, sleep on your side instead of on your back or stomach. The brain has a self-cleaning process by which it cleans tau proteins while you sleep. The process is smoother when you sleep on your sides.

Avoid napping

Day time napping to make up for lost sleep time at night can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease. Disturbed sleep affects the circadian rhythm or the body's internal clock. People who display signs of Alzheimer's often complain of disrupted sleep-wake cycles.

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