Deep sleep can be crucial for your heart, but it can also help rid the brain of toxins that play a role in Alzheimer's disease. Sleep is essential for both cognition and the maintenance of healthy brain function and slow waves in neural activity contribute to memory consolidation, a study published Thursday in the concluded peer-review magazine Science. Even cerebrospinal fluid during non-rapid eye sleep clears metabolic waste from the brain.
More and more evidence shows that sleep disorders increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a 2018 review of research in the concluded the medical journal JAMA. One of these studies concluded that people with sleep problems had a 1.68 times higher risk of developing cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease and that 15% of Alzheimer's cases may be directly attributable to sleep dysfunction.
Remaining mentally and physically active also seems to play a role in preventing cognitive impairment. People aged 66 or over who received hearing aids shortly after being diagnosed with hearing loss were less likely to be diagnosed with dementia or depression for the first time or to be injured by a fall, in the following three years, a study recently published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society was found by researchers at the University of Michigan.
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A bad night's sleep can also cause a spike in blood pressure that night and the following day, according to recent research. The study, published in a recent edition of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Psychosomatic Medicine and conducted by scientists at the University of Arizona, offers a possible explanation for why sleep problems have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and even the death of cardiovascular disease.
Those participants who had lower "sleep efficiency" showed an increase in blood pressure during that troubled night. They also had higher systolic blood pressure – the number in a person's blood pressure reading – the next day. The researchers said that sleeping well at night is important for good long-term health, but so is getting quality sleep, and they recommended keeping the smartphone in another room and lowering the curtains if the room bedroom is facing east.
"Patients with sleep apnea often compromise heart health," according to the National Sleep Foundation. "This is because without long and deep periods of rest, certain chemicals are activated that prevent the body from reaching prolonged periods in which the heart rate and blood pressure are lowered." This 2008 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine concluded that people with severe sleep apnea are at increased risk for coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and stroke.