Men with self-reported sleep disorders may be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared to men without them. A new study followed more than 1,000 men, who were initially 50 years old, between the years 1970 and 2010.
At the 40 year follow-up period, Swedish researchers found self-reported sleep disturbances were linked to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, especially if they occurred later in life. Study leader Christian Benedict, Ph.D., a sleep researcher at Uppsala University, said, “We demonstrate that men with self-reported sleep disturbances run a 1.5-fold higher risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those without reports of sleep disturbances during a 40-year follow-up period.”
These findings suggest regular good night’s sleep could support brain health in men. With this, new strategies should be developed aimed at improving sleep quality in late life. “Importantly, there are several lifestyle factors, such as exercise, that can influence your brain’s health. Thus, it must be borne in mind that a multifaceted lifestyle approach comprising good sleep habits is essential for maintaining brain health as you age,” Benedict said.