Research suggests poor sleep can accelerate Alzheimer’s disease

How well you sleep could decrease—or raise—your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Are your bedtime behaviors putting you at risk?

Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and sleep

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological condition that affects 5.8 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. By 2050, this number could rise to nearly 14 million, which is why researchers are working overtime to find out more about this disease—and sleep looks like it could be key. There’s more news on Alzheimer’s: Scientists may have found the cause—and how to reverse it.

Catching Alzheimer’s disease early

The brain changes caused by Alzheimer’s start slowly and silently—often up to two decades before symptoms like memory loss and confusion appear. In the brain, substances in the brain known as amyloid beta proteins and tau begin to collect into plaques and tangles; as the disease progresses, key areas of the brain can shrink. Here’s where sleep comes in: Some research suggests poor sleep can accelerate Alzheimer’s. Here are 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s every adult should know.

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