Taking a nap frequently or for a long time during the day can be a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia, reveals a US study published this Thursday.
Elderly people who napped at least once a day or more than an hour were 40% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who didn’t or napped less.
The study was published this Thursday in the publication “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease“. Data was collected over 14 years by the “Memory and Aging Project”, from more than 1,400 people aged between 74 and 88 years. For 14 days a year, participants wore a device that tracked their movements.
“I think people haven’t realized yet that Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that often causes changes in mood and sleep quality,” said Richard Isaacson, head of Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine.
“Sleeping too many hours during the day could be one of many clues to possible cognitive decline,” he added.
The nap increased by an average of 11 minutes per year for adults who did not develop suspicious behavior. However, people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s nearly tripled their nap time to an average of 68 minutes a day.
“We found that the association between excessive naps and dementia remained after a sleep adjustment,” said one of the study’s authors, Yue Leng, a physician and assistant professor at the University of California.
In another study, Leg had concluded that those who slept two hours a day had an increased risk of cognitive impairment compared to those who slept less than 30 minutes.
What to do?
Adults should limit daily naps to 15 to 20 minutes before 3:00 pm for more restful sleep that doesn’t disrupt nighttime sleep. Caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s should be aware of these people’s daily naps.
Also, a significant increase in the number and time of naps should be discussed with a doctor. Prioritizing sleep is also one of Dr Richard Isaacson’s advice.