Irregular sleep patterns have been linked to an increased risk of dementia.
- Irregular sleep patterns have been linked to an increased risk of dementia in a new study.
- Two hypotheses have been put forward by scientists to explain the link between dementia and irregular sleep.
- More than 55 million people have dementia worldwide.
Irregular sleep habits are associated with increased risk of dementia, according to udo new research.
“Recent research suggests that irregular sleep is not good for heart health, but it is unclear whether it has the same effects on the brain. Given the role sleep plays in eliminating waste “We thought that irregular sleep patterns could have a negative impact on the brain and increase the risk of dementia. explain the authors in the introduction.
Sleep and dementia: 88,094 Britons included in research
To explore this possibility, the researchers formed a cohort of 88,094 Britons who did not suffer from dementia, cognitive impairment or neurological diseases.
At the start of the experiment, participants’ sleep regularity was measured using wrist-worn accelerometers over a period of seven days. Members of the cohort were then followed for many years.
The results revealed that very irregular and extremely irregular sleep patterns were associated with increased risk of dementia compared to good regularity. This trend held even after adjusting for various factors, including total sleep duration and wakefulness after falling asleep.
“Health recommendations often emphasize the recommended amount of sleep (which is seven to nine hours per night), but there is less emphasis on maintaining a regular sleep schedule,” laments study author Matthew Paul Pase. “Our results indicate that a person’s sleep regularity is an important factor when assessing dementia risk,” he continues.
Sleep and dementia: how to explain this link?
Two hypotheses have been put forward by scientists to explain the link between dementia and irregular sleep:
– irregular sleep could lead to metabolic and behavioral changes increasing the risk of hypertension or diabetes, which are well-established risk factors for dementia.
– irregular sleep could impair the brain’s ability to eliminate neurotoxic waste, which could contribute to neurodegeneration.
55 million people suffer from dementia worldwide
Currently, more than 55 million people live with dementia worldwide, more than 60% of them in low- and middle-income countries. Every year there are almost 10 million new cases.
“Dementia results from various diseases and lesions that affect the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and is thought to account for 60 to 70% of cases.“, specifies the WHO. “Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability and dependency among older people worldwide,” adds the institution.