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Can Poor Sleep Lead to Alzheimer's?

A poor night’s sleep has a tremendous impact on your cognition and energy levels. A CNN report focused on this serious health issue and the link between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found that chronic sleep deprivation resulted in higher levels of soluble beta amyloid. This protein kills brain cells and creates sticky plaques that impede cognitive processing. Amyloid buildup is also a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. 

Rejuvenating sleep is one of the fundamental foundations of health. Human beings have been sleeping at night since time immemorial, and light exposure can easily disrupt normal sleep cycles. Your pineal gland produces melatonin roughly in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night. The sleep difficulties that so many experience can often be linked to the absence of a natural sleep environment.

Your health depends on a regular light-dark cycle that, ideally, starts and stops at the same time each day. Late night artificial light exposure can profoundly influence your physical and mental health and well-being. EMF generating devices can severely disrupt circadian rhythms. You should strongly consider removing electronics from the vicinity of your bed and not using them within several hours of turning in.

It may seem challenging at first, but another goal should be creating a sleep environment that is completely free of light. Blackout drapes are an excellent starting point. I highly recommend investing in a pair of blue blocker sunglasses. I call them reverse sunglasses and wear them in most commercial buildings. Artificial blue light should be avoided at all times, and these affordable glasses reduce the harmful impact of high intensity and LED lighting.

A few other easy to implement tweaks are avoiding alcohol, caffeine and other drugs including nicotine for several hours before bed. I also recommend keeping the temperature in your bedroom below 70 degrees F.  Rejuvenating sleep is one of the fundamental foundations of health, but for millions it is a challenge. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help make sleep a respite rather than a source of frustration.