Memory Care Insights – The Connection Between Sleep and Alzheimer’s Disease

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Is there a relationship between sleep and the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease? Neuroscientists have a strong understanding of the connection between sleep and overall health but not as much is known about the connection between sleep and Alzheimer’s disease.

Several studies suggest that lack of sleep and/or impaired sleep (e.g. waking up several times during the night), may be bad for the brain and increase our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Our bodies require sleep in order to grow muscle, repair tissue and synthesize hormones. Sleep is also essential to eliminate toxins, create and maintain healthy connections between cells throughout the body and optimize neural functioning in the brain. When neurons don’t function properly, beta amyloid proteins may build up within the brain and cause plaque that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia and memory loss.

Sleep Quality vs Sleep Quantity

It’s common knowledge that most people require less sleep as they age but quality of sleep is the key to optimal health. Although it may seem simple, a disciplined and purposeful approach to sleeping can make a significant and meaningful impact. Factors that can either enhance or impede sleep include:

  • Living environment – Adequate space, soothing colors, soft music, and pretty scenery all help to reduce stress and create a sense of calm. Television, electronic devices (e.g. computers, smartphones, etc.) and bright colors have a stimulating effect on the body and therefore can impede sleep.
  • Diet – Foods containing caffeine disrupt sleep because caffeine is a stimulant. Spicy or acidic foods may also impact sleep because they can cause heartburn which is exacerbated by lying flat.
  • Temperature – Experts agree that the temperature of the room and how comfortable you feel in it affect how well and how long you sleep. Too hot or too cold and you’re sure to wake up!

Sleep is an Important Part of Memory Care at The Ganzhorn Suites

At The Ganzhorn Suites memory care facility, features that encourage restful sleep are incorporated into our purpose-built design and care model. For instance, we offer spacious private suites outfitted with full beds. Individually controlled heating and air conditioning units in each suite enable the temperature to be adjusted based on personal preferences. Every household is decorated in soft soothing colors and abundant zone lighting can be adjusted to simulate dusk. Our team takes into account each resident’s habits, preferences and needs and develops a personalized care plan that includes strategies to optimize the quality and quantity of sleep.

The Ganzhorn Suites is a specialized assisted living facility in Powell, Ohio for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The facility serves Powell, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Delaware, Westerville, and other surrounding areas of Columbus, OH.