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People that have their deep sleep cycle (slow-wave cycle) disrupted for one night experience a 10% increase in amyloid plaque levels compared to when their deep sleep cycle is uninterrupted.
Amyloid beta plaques accumulate outside of neurons in the brain and disrupt synapses (the connections between two neurons that form memories) and is just one way that memory loss occurs in Alzheimer’s disease.
This study showed that slow-wave sleep, which is the deep sleep that people need to wake up feeling rested, is important for preventing the accumulation of amyloid plaques. While a few nights of disrupted sleep is likely not a problem, it is the chronic disrupted slow-wave sleep (ie. sleep apnea) that may put a person at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
A few things that I have found improve my sleep are switching all blue lights off before sunset since blue light stops the production of melatonin. I have red lights that turn on before sunset and this has really helped my sleep pattern. Also, a bright light exposure first thing in the morning to start my circadian clock has really helped. Lastly, following a time-restricted eating pattern where I do not eat 4 hours before bed and a cold/quiet room also make a huge difference.
My podcast with Dr. Satchin Panda discusses the importance of dark/light and food timing in sleep. Dr. Satchin Panda podcast: https://youtu.be/-R-eqJDQ2nU
My podcast with Dan Pardi also discusses ways to optimize sleep. Dan Pardi podcast: video: https://youtu.be/VhMjrWlWhLU