As you get older, losing slow-wave sleep may make you more susceptible to dementia, finds a recent Australian study.
Matthew P. Pase, an associate professor of psychology and neurology at Melbourne’s Monash University said, “We found that aging was associated with a decline in the amount of the deepest stages of sleep, known as slow wave sleep.”
” Over the next 17 years of follow-up, we identified that individuals with greater declines in slow wave sleep over time had a higher risk of getting dementia.”
The third stage of sleep, known as slow-wave sleep, is crucial for maintaining brain function.
The body expels substances from the brain that are undesirable or possibly dangerous, such as beta-amyloid protein, which is a telltale indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.
This kind of deep sleep is believed to be the most restorative for the brain.
The goal of the study, which was published in the journal JAMA Neurology, was to determine whether dementia risk is associated with long-term, persistent declines in slow-wave sleep.
Pase also aimed to find out if a decrease in this kind of sleep was caused by brain processes associated with dementia.
Pase mentioned, “Results reveal that chronic decline in slow wave sleep are crucial aspects of identifying dementia risk.”
The Framingham Heart Study participants, 346 average age 69 participants, and two overnight sleep studies (one between 1995 and 1998, the second between 1998 and 2001) with sleep monitoring were examined by the researchers.
The Framingham Heart Study was started in 1948 by the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to find common variables that lead to cardiovascular disease.
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