May 27, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Sleep “cleanses” the brain of dangerous proteins

Good sleep not only promotes rest and recovery of the body, but also protects the brain from dangerous proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.

Quality sleep acts like…a garbage disposal: It removes metabolic “waste” from the brain, including the removal of certain proteins, such as those known to accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, adults need 7 to 9 hours of “quality sleep” every day, including deep sleep.

People who wake frequently, perhaps due to sleep apnea, chronic stress, noise, or a generally unfavorable environment, may have a deficiency in this phase and may be unable to “shed” potentially harmful brain compounds during sleep.

Disturbed sleep, even at a young age, can affect a person’s thinking abilities and lead to memory problems later in life. Progressive loss of deep sleep over time is associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Tips on how to sleep better and get enough sleep

  • Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule every day, even on weekends. Try not to skimp on sleep from Monday to Friday so you don’t have to make up for lost time on the weekend.
  • Limit screen time at night. Cell phones, computers, televisions, etc. emit blue light, which sends a “signal” to our brain to keep us alert.
  • Don’t drink coffee in the afternoon. Consuming caffeine 6 hours before bed reduces sleep duration by at least one hour and alters sleep quality.
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but a study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research shows that it seriously impairs sleep qualitybecause the body’s metabolism of alcohol interferes with both initial deep sleep and subsequent REM sleep.
  • Keep your bedroom cool. Extreme temperatures are usually not conducive to sleep.
  • Don’t eat too much in the evening or before bed. Digesting large amounts of food at night raises your body temperature, which can make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Eat something light for dinner. If your last meal was spicy and fatty, you can be sure that you will experience insomnia or intermittent shallow sleep (possibly with nightmares).
  • Avoid vigorous exercise/workout about two hours before bedtime. Like overeating at night, exercise raises your body temperature and makes it harder to rest.
  • Take a warm, relaxing shower. Water treatments dilate the blood vessels in the extremities, which means that blood is transferred from the body to the arms and legs, which leads to a decrease in body temperature and promotes sleep.

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