If You Keep on Waking Up in the Middle of the Night, Your Brain Is in Trouble

It’s time to take interrupted sleep seriously.

Woman experiencing interrupted sleepPhoto: Shutterstock

What Doctors Are Saying About Sleep and Dementia

In Canada, not getting enough sleep isn’t just an issue plaguing a select segment of the population. As of 2017, about a third of Canadian adults say they don’t get a sufficient amount of sleep, according to Statistics Canada.

The negative side effects of not getting enough sleep are well documented, but as it turns out, it isn’t just the duration of your snooze affecting your health. A recent study has shown a link between waking up during the middle of the night and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. (These six foods can help prevent Alzheimer’s.)

The University of Illinois conducted a sleep study of 516 adults aged 71-78. The study found that the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, known as biomarkers, were highest in the participants who suffered from respiratory sleep disorders which led to frequent sleep interruptions. (These songs will give you the best night’s sleep, according to science.)

According to a 2009 Statistics Canada report, an estimated 858,900 Canadian adults 18 years and older suffer from sleep apnea, the most common respiratory sleep disorder.

This sleep interruption is much different than the average occasional jolt awake (which may be an evolutionary defense mechanism); individuals afflicted by respiratory sleep disorders have been known to wake up upwards of 60 times per night.

If you’re having issues outside of the realm of sleep disorders, here are seven reasons getting more sleep should be your new year’s resolution. And if you do suffer from one of the sleep disorders listed above, take a look at these additional precautions against the degenerative brain disease.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest