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Brain Health And Sleep

3 July 2023 Categories: Better Health Author: Katrina Stubbs
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Sleeping can enhance your brain health as you age.


Many individuals have heard the myth — the older you get, the less sleep you need — well, that is quite a misconception. To feel ultimately revitalized for the new day, every adult should get at least 7-9 hours of rest. The practice of healthy sleep hygiene can also enhance your brain health as you age over time. This is brand new information for most, but something worth remembering. If you get approximately 7-9 hours of sleep a night, it can improve and bolster your brain health.

Our dream team at Snore MD has numerous recommendations for you when involving your health and slumber. The following tips and tricks can help you feel rejuvenated for a lengthier time and get that well-deserved good night of shuteye while reaping the benefits of better brain health.


Keeping a set sleep schedule

Your body can stay regulated, and it will be much easier to fall asleep and then wake up in the morning. The best way to train yourself in this practice is to bed at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each morning, until your body sets the inner alarm clock on its own.


Avoid late-night meals

We all love that late-night cookie, but (at some point) we have to stop it, and yes — it might be a struggle but in the end, it helps! Eating late at night could be hard to digest and prevent you from nodding off.


Reduce alcohol intake

First, this may very well act as a sedative, but on the other side of the spectrum consuming too much of the intoxicating drink can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. The downside can lead to not falling back to sleep right away. Limiting the amount you consume alcohol can positively affect the health of your brain and slumber.


Put a time limit on naps

That nice long nap at the end of a rough day is something out of this world, but did you know that the effects that long naps have on you take a toll for the worse? Limiting how long you nap and how often can contribute to having a better night of sleep. Taking naps earlier in the day can help mitigate interruptions to your nighttime sleep.


Reduce the use of electronic devices at night

This practice can positively affect your sleep. Although it might be tempting to scroll through the media or watch your favourite show at night, studies show that you should at least have an hour without your screen right before bedtime.

The adverse effects of using your screen (blue light) at night can impact you in various ways, such as your circadian rhythm, by suppressing the amount of melatonin produced when sleeping. It can also overstimulate your heart rate, leaving you packed with adrenaline making it harder to fall asleep.

The alerting properties can also delay REM sleep. REM sleep is a stage that includes dreaming and stimulating brain areas that can be crucial to learning.

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The adverse effects of using your screen at night can impact your sleep.

Merely doing these simple daily tasks can have lasting effects that will positively affect your brain, but not sleeping the recommended quantity can have many long-lasting effects on the other side of the spectrum. Firstly, sleep deprivation can make you prone to memory loss and decrease your brain’s ability to recall things. Secondly, it can affect your brain by diminishing the efficiency of the waste disposal system so that protein clumps will not drain adequately. Thirdly, being deprived of sleep will affect your prefrontal cortex — mainly your emotions — making you more hypersensitive. You may even start acting irrationally.

It is important to remember that you may have a higher chance of getting Alzheimer’s as you age due to the absence of shuteye. It is best to change poor sleep habits at a younger age so your sleep quality remains positive as you age. After many years of poor sleep, you may develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s due to lack of sleep over time; these symptoms could include memory loss, perhaps more confusion than usual, and you may experience an inability to learn new things. Speaking may be more complex and impact language skills, reading, writing, and dealing with numbers. Your attention span might be somewhat limited after a while, leaving you unable to think logically. These can all occur based on your sleeping habits.


What is Alzheimer’s?  

It is a disease related to many instances; you may even get it from genetics, but scientists believe that your environment and lifestyle can also play a role in developing this condition. Alzheimer’s is associated with an abnormal buildup of ceratin proteins clustering around your brain. One of these proteins is called amyloid which is similar to plaque. The plaque starts to form many years before symptoms will start showing. Another protein that may cause this disease is called tau, this protein tangles its way throughout your brain’s many areas. As a result, the decrease of neurotransmitters can be affected, and then your brain starts to shrink in the process. In addition, a lack of sleep decreases your body’s ability to dispose of these proteins over time, causing our brain health to deteriorate.


Practising proper sleep habits as a prescription for better brain health will benefit us in the long term. That good night of sleep you have always dreamed of is on the way! Following these guidelines will positively affect you in numerous ways, including being in the best shape possible so you can continue living your best life with outstanding amounts of energy and brainpower!


Are you getting a good night of sleep? See how our sleep assessment works and start your journey to better sleep today!

Katrina Stubbs Sleep Clinician
Katrina Stubbs

Katrina Stubbs is a Regional Manager and Sleep Clinician at Snore MD and brings over 15 years of experience in the medical field. She prides herself in providing exceptional patient care and education, not only to her patients but to the entire team at Snore MD.

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