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  • Writer's pictureMartha Lewis

Sleep and Alzheimer’s: what you need to know

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Did you know that having insomnia when you’re under 40 doubles your risk of dementia later in life?

Sleeping pills increase your risk, too.

Alzheimer’s is associated with the buildup of amyloid plaques that kill brain cells. Sleep is important because it’s during deep sleep that these amyloid plaques are cleared from the brain.

Many of my clients with insomnia also complain about memory loss. This isn’t surprising since we need sleep to consolidate memories.

During deep sleep your brain stores information that you learned that day. Without enough deep sleep, your short term memory diminishes.

While you're in REM sleep, your brain catalogs the information consolidated in deep sleep and connects it together in creative ways. Lack of REM sleep can reduce your creativity, problem solving and ability to learn new skills.

Some of the causes of insomnia, memory loss and Alzheimer’s are the same:

  • High blood sugar

  • stress

  • Low sex hormones

  • Heavy metals

Get the full story in my latest article for the Jackson Hole News and Guide.

The good news is that you can lessen your chances of developing dementia by stabilizing your blood sugar, reducing stress and getting enough sleep. Eating brain- healthy, anti-inflammatory foods is also extremely important.

If you can’t sleep, there’s something going on in your body that isn’t healthy and it’s keeping you awake at night. I use functional lab tests to find what’s causing stress in your body such as hormone balance, liver function, gut health, heavy metals and more. The only way to sleep better naturally is to find what’s sabotaging your sleep and correct it. Then you’re more likely to keep your memory, avoid dementia, and stay healthy as you get older.

As always, wishing you a good night’s sleep.

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