Alzheimer’s disease and the secret weapon against it (the sleeeeeeeep)
Sleep apnoea is quite common, most of the cases are not identified (we are talking of 75% of the cases that are never diagnosed), and it is one of the factors contributing to the cognitive decline. The sleep apnoea is happening when your breathing will halt completelly for a short period of time, almost waking you up, and stopping you for reaching the deep sleep, the maximum regenerative time of our sleep. If you are snoring, you are old, overweight or have a short neck, then probably you have sleep apnoea. If you are chronically tired during your waking time, this may be also a cause. There are wearable devices that can detect sleep apnoea at home, or very expensive tests that require to stay overnight in a special sleep center. The conclusion is named AHI (apnoea-hypopnea index) and normal is less than 5, ideally zero, and a value of around 100 means that you have this condition. Basically AHI is measuring how many times per hour you stopped breathing.
Let’s explain a bit more what happen during the high quality sleep:
-the anatomy of the brain cells is altered, allowing cleansing, flushing out the amyloid-beta and other debris. During sleep, less amyloid-beta is generated.
- as we are fasting during sleep, the insulin sensitivity is reseted and improved.
-during sleep the autophagy process is initiated, destroying damaged mitochondria and defective proteins.
-hormonally speaking, the growth hormone secretion is increased, repairing and producing new supportive brain cells.
-different reparative processes are initiated during deep sleep.
Sleep deprivation can lead to impaired cognition, increased risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all three of them increasing in turn the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Next post will be about the cholesterol influence on AD.