Less REM Sleep Linked to Larger Risk of Dementia in New Study


Published Date : Aug 24, 2017

A new study has revealed that a higher risk of dementia in the later years of life could find links with deprived rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In an August 23 published study of the Neurology journal, dementia patients have been researched to have received less REM sleep, when observed overnight years earlier, in comparison with people who have not developed cognitive problems. Matthew Pase, lead author of the study, has stated that while it does not give a proof of low REM sleep causing dementia, an association between the two has been unveiled. Furthermore, Pase has pointed out quite a few ideas about REM sleep being linked with dementia.

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The new study examined an over 320 people in the U.S. aging an average 67 years who had been already included in a larger, ongoing heart health study. After having collected data about their sleep almost halfway through while following them for 12 years average, 32 participants had been diagnosed with dementia. 24 participants among the 32 had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Participants diagnosed with dementia had been examined to have spent a 17.0% of their sleep time on an average in REM sleep compared to a 20.0% spent by participants with no dementia.

The researchers had discovered a 9.0% increase in dementia risk as REM sleep was reduced by a percent every time. The results held up even when the researchers factored in medication usage, depression, and heart disease affecting poor sleep or dementia risk.