Sleep and dementia appear, according to geriatrician (ouderenarts) Jurgen Claassen inextricably linked. He suggests that people function better after a good night’s sleep and that healthy people have adequate sleep dementia can exist even. Gezondheidsnet asks him how this is.
You are doing research into the link between dementia and sleep problems. What is new about this research?
“A number of years ago, there was still not clear why people with dementia get. Then, there are gradually a number of risk factors are discovered, such as high blood pressure, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The relationship between dementia and sleep is only since a few years known. In a study showed that people who bad slept, a higher risk of dementia appeared to have.”
What are the main findings?
“Herhaalonderzoek has shown that poor sleep many years later to a higher risk of dementia. That you will not find in one community or research group, but it comes in multiple studies in multiple countries increasingly to the fore. Now there are by several research groups meanwhile, what steps have been taken in which, for example, you can see that poor sleep affects the alzheimereiwit (amyloid), which is often poor sleep leads to an increase of amyloid in the brain. That would be a good fit at a higher risk of alzheimer’s disease. The theory is that the amount of protein leads to dementia. That last one must still be examined, but there is already known that people with alzheimer’s disease have an excess of protein.”
How does sleep the risk of dementia?
“If you sleep could improve, then you have a short-term opportunity to improve the functioning. Because if you have a night of bad sleep, then function the next day less, that have healthy people also. Someone who already have dementia and a night of bad sleep, functioning the next day is even worse than he was the day after would do. Further, it is possible that poor sleep also for extra damage. That means eiwitopstapeling and still further decline.
There are also strong indications that long-term poor sleep the risk of heart disease increases. You would also have to be able to think of that poor sleep leads to high blood pressure, stroke, and thus the dementia further aggravates. That also means that you health effects of sleep better can be expected, that there is possible to ensure that people with dementia less decline as they sleep better. So that must all be examined.”
How can dementia patients with sleep disorders be treated?
“People who have dementia, tend to be less active, so they go during the day to do less. Also they tend to sleep a nap as they will not be activated. Because of this, they have during the day short hazenslaapjes, that is not sufficient help to rest. in the Evening they are not tired enough and sleep is bad. So you can be a pretty simple improvement in sleep get by people during the day and more active through increased levels of physical activity, making the evening better sleep.
What a simple measure: make sure that during the day, sufficient exposure to daylight and at night is sufficiently dark. As people during the day in a dim room, their sleep-wake cycle is disturbed and that also helps.”
How much you should a minimum of sleep to reduce the chances of dementia to reduce?
“For the average person, it seems that you have at least seven hours of sleep. It is also so that there is an upper limit: that’s not good is when people are very long on the bed. That is probably also an expression of health risks. If you have more than nine hours of sleep, what abnormal is, then that is not good. There is somewhere an optimum, which is somewhere around the seven to eight hours.”
“If you spend your entire life all sleeps poorly, then that would be all for damages can provide”
dr. Jurgen Claassen
From what age is adequate sleep important to dementia can be prevented?
“You would certainly from the middle age, perhaps even earlier, in the need to keep. If you spend your entire life all sleeps poorly, then that would in theory damage can. You must therefore, not only on your sixtieth or seventieth start. This is also apparent from these studies that these linkages. See it really have been ten, twenty, even thirty years before the dementia develops, that people have already stated that they have poor sleep.”
Plays the quality of sleep also play a role?
“There are all kinds of stages of sleep, then the question is: is the one sleep is more important than the other? There are a lot of indications that the deep sleep phase which is the most important, because this phase most of the rest and recuperation indicates to your brain. It may also be that there are other slaapstadia, but regardless of what it is, they say something about quality of sleep.
What a bad quality of sleep does, is that you are often short-term, wakes up or a very light, superficial sleep, and is in any case certain that those light, superficial sleep no protection.
It has been proven that if you that deep sleep cycle, but you, you are less of the alzheimereiwit and if you don’t have it, understand do more of that protein. If you have lighter sleep, then you will see an increase of that protein in that brain, while if you are in a night of deep sleep, then you see even a drop of that protein.”
How many days in the week you should be able to sleep to prevent dementia?
“What we think – but that is still not quite sure – is that if you have a night sleep well, that the protein again is discharged. I think that more than half of your slaapnachten bad should sleep if the real effect would have to have. If you have a times a night, sleeps poorly, and the nights after, and then, then you probably have enough resilience.
If your brain for a week, no compensating power depending get, then build your waste. There must be somewhere a balance between disruption and chance of recovery. Where that exactly is, still needs to be further investigated.”
“If you have high blood pressure can prevent, you can also many cases of dementia prevention”
dr. Jurgen Claassen
That you can dementia even more?
“Sleep is a factor that in the one person more of a role than the other. It is likely a combination of risk factors: high blood pressure is one that is already known, and that probably a very large role. Now is it not the case that everyone with a high blood pressure per se dementia, but there are a lot of people with high blood pressure in the world, a part of a higher risk for dementia. That means that if you have high blood pressure can prevent, you are also many cases of dementia can be prevented. In addition to high blood pressure probably play also the other heart and vascular diseases, for example, people who have high cholesterol and have heart attacks. Everything you can prevent, make probably the chance of dementia is smaller.
Further, a number of lifestyle factors have been discovered: things that affect your health such as your diet, weight, smoking, and all those things that we know are bad for the heart and blood vessels, have also proved to be bad for dementia. In research, you can very well look at who eventually dementia and then you can look back to what people more at risk seem to have and which are less. And then you come on all these factors. People who live healthily, not smoking, lots of exercise and a good education have a lower risk of dementia.”
Dr. Jurgen Claassen is – together with prof. dr. Roy Kessels – author of the book What can you do about dementia?